Metzmaker Grand MarshalHoward Metzmaker and Joe Bristol have quite different opinions of the 2015 Gizzard Fest Grand Marshal. Metzmaker, who has been honored with the distinction this year, said it probably could have gone to someone more deserving.
Bristol, on the other hand, said he could not think of anyone else who is more deserving.
“Howard is one of the oldest business owners in the city,” said Bristol, who heads up the Gizzard Fest planning committee. “He’s always been a kind soul to help people in need.”
Metzmaker has owned and operated Howard’s Garage in downtown Potterville for 50 years. He said he tries to be as active in the community as much as he can, but he really earned his reputation for being an honest and generous business owner.
“There are times when you see Howard ready to go home after working a 14-hour day and someone stops in,” said Bristol, who owns Joe’s Gizzard City, located across the street from Howard’s Garage. “He’s always been very generous and very kind to the people of Potterville.”
Over the course of 50 years, Metzmaker has developed many friendships in the Potterville community.
“I know just about every kid that comes around the corner,” he said.
It’s the relationships with his customers and community members that have allowed him to work so hard for so long in Potterville. The work ethic, however, was instilled in him while growing up on a farm in Eagle, Mich. Though he recently turned 83, Metzmaker still puts in long hours at his shop. He is a member of the American Legion and Charlotte Eagles and has been a Master Mason since 1964. Until recently, he was also very active in sports, including auto racing.
Though he said he may not be deserving of the honor, he is certainly appreciative.
“My kids and everyone are pretty happy for me,” he said. “I have a lot of family coming to town for it.”
The Gizzard Fest grand parade begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 in downtown Potterville.