By Scott Bidroski
The road to Bob Alcorn settling in as a State Farm agent in Gordon was a windy, twisty one at best.
The Hot Springs, S.D. High School graduate took a year after high school for trade school but then made the jump into the U.S. Army.
Alcorn spent some time in Germany during his time in the service but found his calling in being a Army recruiter stateside. He served in the Army until 1975, then enrolled in college at Chadron State as a business management major.
While attending college at CSC, Alcorn met a State Farm Manager. This meeting opened his eyes to the opportunities within in the organization, and it sounded pretty darn good to him. He chose that path and following graduation, Alcorn awaited word on where he would be placed.
There were a few options available but as luck would have it, Gordon was one of the locations that needed an agent.
He embraced the placement and turned into 42+ years of friendships, community building, and laughs.
“I never wake up and say “oh darn” I have to go to work today,” said Alcorn.
“It it kind of funny when you step back and look at it, some people became friends first then clients, a lot of people became clients and then friends. It’s kind of a family affair for me anymore,” he added.
Alcorn became the State Farm Agent officially on January 1, 1980 and will retire at the end of this month.
That makes it 42+ years officially occupying a spot on Main Street in Gordon. And that is not something that he has taken for granted.
“I love the people in the community and how they treat you. If you look at recent fundraisers that we’ve had and when people get in trouble then you really know what this community means and it’s pretty ingrained in me,” said Alcorn.
Throughout his time in this community, Alcorn has always had a love for baseball and softball. He utilized that love as a way for him to give back to Gordon.
Alcorn, who was a Kiwanis member, along with multiple other people fundraised in the 1980’s to get enough funds to build Kiwanis Field out at the Fairgrounds. They raised $60,000 for the project and then received a matching donation from the Nebraska Game and Parks to create the beautiful ballpark, Kiwanis Field.
“At one point, we had around 240 kids in the baseball/softball program here in Gordon,” said Alcorn.
“And when I came here we did not even have a baseball diamond. But a multitude of people and organizations put their arm around that program and got it done,” he added.
Alcorn will surely be missed at State Farm here on Main Street but he wants his customers to rest assured that only the face will change, the service will remain the same.
Sandy Hathorn will remain in her position, along with Taryn Marcy. Marcy is the Office Manager and will continue in that role.
Dave Raml will be the new agent in charge at the location. Raml will be in the office a few days each week and is available via phone call or video conferencing.
Raml is based out of Rapid City, S.D. but will have a solid presence here in Gordon.
The combination of Marcy as the Office Manager and the new agent at the desk, Alcorn is confident his customers will be more than satisfied.
“It bodes me well that my customers are going to be well taken care of when I walk out that door. That means a lot to me,” said Alcorn.
State Farm will be hosting a Retirement Party on Wednesday, April 27 to celebrate Bob and his longtime dedication to Gordon.
The party will feature refreshments and snacks and everyone is invited to attend.
It will take place from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the building just to the south of Daylight Donuts and only a few doors down from the State Farm office.
If you want to find Bob following his retirement, you might want to head to your local lake. Alcorn plans on spending some quality time on the water, trying his best to land a few fish.
Fishing, along with trying to keep up with his four grandsons and a few woodworking projects that need to be done around the house, will now occupy his time.
Needless to say, Alcorn will not be bored.
“I’ve got a lot hobbies, said Alcorn with a smile.
“But I like fishing the most.”