The Original Joe's Garage Sign

Joe James in 1975 Joe's Garage Then

In 1952, after years of working as a mechanic in other shops, Joe James opened his own garage on the corner of 1st and Adams (across the street
from the current location).

An honest and reliable man, Joe firmly believed in giving every customer
what he called a "square deal." If customers couldn't pay, he didn't hesitate
to extend credit, and generally found that people gave him the same respect he offered.

Joe died in 2010. His wife, Rosemary, still lives in Eugene.

Ernie Kirk in 1992

In 1959, Joe hired his future son-in-law, Ernie Kirk, as an apprentice mechanic. Ernie was only 23 then, but had always had a passion for working on cars. In 1970, Joe and Ernie became partners, and when Joe retired in 1975, Ernie and his wife, Sherry, took over the family business.

For the next 27 years, Ernie and Sherry worked side by side, building on business's reputation for honesty, service, and integrity. Each of their three kids worked in the shop at one point or another, and when the couple retired in 2002, the third generation took over: Darin and Lori David, Ernie and Sherry's son-in-law and daughter.

Now that they're retired, Ernie and Sherry spend winters in Yuma, Arizona, along with Joe and Rosemary. "There wasn't ever a day I didn't want to go to work," Ernie says. "I loved my job." Ernie's optimism and cheerfulness was one of the things that made Joe's garage what it is today.

"It's another beautiful day in Paradise!"

Joe's Garage: The Movie (student project, 1989)

Ernie in garage in 70's

Joe's Garage in 1980

Ernie in Joe's Garage around 1970

Joe's Garage in 1980. Ernie and Sherry Kirk (center) with son,
Tom Kirk, and long-time courtesy driver, Don Swanger (by truck).
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