Ol’ Lonely Contest Draws a Convention Crowd

Axel Gormsen goes back in time and finds himself

By Andy Kriege, YSN

A big tip of the hat to all those who sent in pictures as well as those who took the time to play the YSN’s Ol’ Lonely Contest last week at BrandSource’s Convention21.

The competition turned out to be a huge success as members walked down memory lane together, reminiscing about the iconic Maytag Repairman character. It was great to see so many people go back in time to figure out who among them was featured on the boards, as well as identify the six actors who played the part over the years.

Many of the folks featured on the boards stopped by to see younger versions of themselves in the company of  Ol’ Lonely, including Axel Gormsen, Claude Ward, Bob Young, Don Hillebrand, Kim and Linda Legato, Dave Motz, Nick Bonderek, Rob Ries and Dave Schritter, just to name a few.

Related:  Whirlpool Guests Guess at “O’ Lonely” Pix

Every member who stopped by had a memory and a story to share. A favorite was this picture from Don’s Appliance:

As principal Tim Hillebrand recalled, the original Maytag Man, comic actor Jessie White, is seen reaching into the coat of Maytag rep Paul Coxy to grab his wallet and keep some cash from all his sales that day.

For Kellie Crane of Crane’s L&M Appliance Center, it was a poignant moment at the Expo when she turned the corner and saw the image of her husband Ray, who recently passed away. She described with a smile how Ray actually auditioned for the role of Ol’ Lonely a few years back after the company put out a casting call, submitting a video in full repairman regalia. He didn’t land the part, but their grandchildren will still don his cap on occasion and run around the store “like grandpa used to,” Kellie recalled. 

While many played the guess Ol’ Lonely contest, few were able to ID more than a dozen of the 49 photos on display. Those who did were rewarded for their efforts:

Kathy Reese of Reece’s Maytag phones a friend who assisted her in claiming second place in the contest.
  • A First Place prize of $250 went to Lu Ann Riley of  C&J Electric Maytag in Chillicothe, Ohio, with a score of 36 out of 49.
  • A Second Place Prize of $150 went to Kathy Reese of Reece’s Maytag in Lafayette, Ind., with a score of 35 out of 49.

Additional contestants who received $100 gift cards included:

  • Bill Morrisey of Morrisey Refrigeration in Wyoming, Ill.
  • Jon Satkowiak of Mio Rental & Retail in Mio, Mich.
  • Jen Lingenfelter of Logel Appliance in Strykersville, N.Y.
  • Rob Ries of Village Home Stores in Geneseo, Ill.
  • Larry Verkamp of Direct Maytag in Jasper, Ind.
  • Kelly Golder of Doug’s Maytag in Scottsville, Va.

Winners of $100 gift cards who submitted photos included:

  • Mark Edwards of Atlantic Appliance             
  • Kellie Crane of Crane’s L&M Appliance Center                                 
  • Joe Legato of Bill & Rod’s Appliance                         
  • Nick Bonderek of Kimball Appliance             
  • Kara Boucher of Christie’s Appliance
  • Tim Hillebrand of Don’s Appliance
  • Diana Douglass of Douglass Appliance
  • Kathy Ostman of Masters Wholesale
  • Shelly Smetzer of Smetzer Kitchen
  • Kim Hupp of M&K Maytag

Thanks to everyone who submitted Ol’ Lonely photos and took the time to stop by the YSN News booth to enter the contest and say hello. And, a special thanks to Whirlpool for helping to sponsor the event and contributing the prize money.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.