Secretary prepares to enter retirement phase

January 27, 1998

Secretary prepares to enter retirement phase


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Peggy Rock has sat at the same desk and in the same wood-and-metal chair for the same Waynesboro automobile dealership for 50 years.

Now she's heading for retirement.

"I'm phasing out," said Rock, 71, a secretary for Lynn Pontiac-Buick-GMC Inc. at 141 S. Potomac St. Rock started working for the dealership in August 1947.

She's been "phasing" into retirement by working mornings three days a week. She will keep working until the dealership hires a replacement for her.


Over the decades Rock has brought much more than office skills to the job.

"She's the best public relations person you could have," said Bob McCleaf, a salesman at the dealership for 22 years. "She knows everybody like a next-door neighbor. She's like a mother to everyone who works here. We're all going to miss her."

McCleaf's assessment of Rock was illustrated when a woman came to her desk Monday morning to have a form notarized. The woman, who recently lost her husband, received condolences and a warm hand of support on her arm from Rock.

Over Rock's desk and on the wall next to her office is a collage of hundreds of photos that McCleaf calls her "peanut gallery."

They are photos of customers' children, some going back 50 years.

"I started with a small bulletin board," she said.

The wall soon started to fill up, not only with photos from customers, but with those of co-workers and friends.

McCleaf said Rock also has a "couple of shoe boxes filled with photos."

She also has a collection of promotional pins from around the world on a cork board over her desk. Local residents find them in their travels around the world and bring them to her.

Rock graduated from the former Waynesboro Senior High School in 1944 and went to work for the local draft board as a secretary. When that job ended in September 1946, she went to work for Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown. She didn't like the job.

After six months she learned that the woman who worked for the auto dealership was leaving to get married, so she applied for the job.

"They liked what they saw, so they hired me," Rock said. Her salary back then was $25 a week.

The dealership was owned by Frank Keller and was known as Keller Pontiac Sales and Service.

The company was sold to Harold W. Brake Sr. in 1949. His son, Harold Jr., eventually took over and ran it until 1993. It was then sold to Lynn Hershberger, who also owns Lynn Chevrolet-Oldsmobile-Cadillac-Geo Inc. at 1035 E. Main St. in Waynesboro.

Rock and her husband, Raymond "Whitey" Rock, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year.

The Rocks raised five children. They have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Photos of all are on Rock's wall.

Rock remembers she and Whitey's first car, a new yellow 1950 Pontiac convertible, the first of a long line of Pontiacs they bought from her bosses over the years.

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