Words by Don McVie

It’s 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Your wife reminds you that the guests are due to arrive at 5:00 p.m. Naturally, you left the outdoor chores to the last minute. Is this a moment for panic or a just a welcome excuse to unleash your impressive collection of backyard toys?

Professional landscapers will tell you that if you have a lawn to mow, trees to trim, gardens to mulch or leaves to manhandle around the property, your best strategy is to get the right tool for the job. There are lots of shiny models on offer at your nearby big box store, but how are you going to figure out which tool works best, which brands to trust and how to maintain the gear you buy? Does that clerk at the mall have any idea how ugly things could get for you on the home front if that cheaply made weed whacker he peddled fails halfway through the job, an hour before the guests roll in?

Most of us learn the hard way that when it comes to buying tools, you get what you pay for!

My epiphany took place on a Saturday in Clarkson Village at Current Power Machinery, or CPM to we aficionados of mechanized lawn maintenance.

The modern history of CPM began in 1978 when husband-and-wife team Frank and Robin Raimondo set up shop to create what would become a mecca of quality driveway and lawn gear for the seasoned professional and inspired hacker alike.

Frank and Robin became my friends over the years. Like a lot of people, I came to look upon my visits to CPM as opportunities to learn and to exchange views with the pros. I bought my chainsaw, my leaf blower and my lawn mower there. Before long, the shop was my go-to place for all of the small engines in my life both here and at the lake.

The difficulty with a retail business is its relentless demands on your precious weekend time. Frank and Robin talked about retiring for several years so they could spend more time at the cottage. The idea of selling the business was appealing, but they were determined that the new owners needed to be a husband-and-wife team who also shared the enthusiasm for expert sales and service that had made CPM a fixture in Clarkson. When long-time customers Jim and Janet Guest stepped up to the plate, it was a deal made in heaven!

The Guests are now running the show at Current Power Machinery and with the fall season coming on fast, it might be a great time for old customers and friends of CPM to drop by and say hello. Jim and Janet are eager to show you the latest in durable home and garden power tools that won’t let you down, no matter how rushed you may be or how tough the job.

Stay tuned to Spirit of the City as we connect you with people and businesses that can help you get the best out of life on the homefront!