What’s Behind the Green Vest?   


New McGuckin Hardware Book Gives a Glimpse!  

“They told me they repaired ducks—and why not? … It was McGuckin Hardware, and they could do anything.” –Mark Whitehouse, on bringing an injured duck into the store as a boy in 1970.

Boulder, CO –August 17th, 2015—McGuckin Hardware, a celebrated community institution for the last 60 years in Boulder, has teamed up with the Daily Camera newspaper and local freelance writer Clay Bonnyman Evans to publish “Behind the Green Vest,” a story about McGuckin Hardware and its Boulder upbringing.

“A delightful peek into the McGuckin Magic and a fond look back at Colorado/Boulder history,” said Bonnie Darnell, a McGuckin fan and Facebook user. “Clay Evans has captured the essence of this special piece of Boulder history.”

Evans is a celebrated author, journalist and Boulder native who worked closely with McGuckin owners Dave and Dee Hight, as well as the cast of eccentric characters that made up the store’s legacy, to paint the picture of a local hardware store’s transition from modest sporting goods and fishing shop to community-centric icon.

“Honestly, ‘Behind the Green Vest’ practically wrote itself,” Evans said, “The Hight family and long-time McGuckin’s employees are not just down to earth and funny, but are living examples of ethical business practices — putting the customers’ needs first, paying employees well, supporting the larger community — that are too often lacking among the corporate and online behemoths of the 21st-century American economy.”

The book goes behind the scenes to explore the histories of the McGuckin and Hight families, their serendipitous union and the application of old-time ideals in a changing retail world to create one of Boulder’s most treasured institutions and a Colorado icon.

“It’s one of those fascinating littlie histories—that involve me—and my McGuckin family that I’ve grown up with since 1978,” said Randy “Doc” Dilkes, a longtime store manager. “It’s also a history lesson about small town business and ethics and honesty and incredible customer service and going way above and beyond on almost everything that we do; our business is to solve problems. It gives you goosebumps because it’s exactly who we are.”

Dave and Dee Hight, as well as author Clay Evans, will be available for a book signing at McGuckin Hardware on Saturday September 12 from 11am to 2pm, and at Boulder Book Store on Wednesday November 11 at 7:30pm.


About McGuckin Hardware

McGuckin Hardware is an independent, family-owned hardware store in Boulder, Colorado, employing an average of 250 people and stocking over 200,000 items in 18 departments. The store, founded in 1955, is based on product selection and customer service, and is known to be friendly to leashed dogs, DIY projects, entrepreneurs and the emerging Maker culture. It is referred to as the largest independent hardware store in the United States.

About Clay Evans

Clay Bonnyman Evans has been writing and editing in the professional arena for 25 years, working at publications such as the Daily Camera and the LA Times.  He currently lives with his wife, three dogs and three cats in Niwot, and is a fan of animals, history and the outdoors. He is working on a book about the life of his grandfather, a Medal of Honor recipient killed in the Pacific during WWII whose remains were recovered only recently.