In high school I worked at Lou Amrofell's men's and boys clothing store in San Bruno. I thought that I wanted to own a clothing store when I grew up. After high school graduation I joined the National Guard along with Mike Klingler and Mike Berges from our class. We were out in 6 months after basic training at Fort Ord. After that I went to college and worked at Ross Department store down the street from Lou's store.
Ross was a kind of general store that had everything for the family from over-alls to farm tools. I helped change the way they did business by buying the young men's clothing and eventually opening a men's store across the street from the original Ross store. Bill Izacson bought the company and formed Ross Shop for less and went nation wide. I finished college and went to work for Western Electric as a draftsman in the Power Section where we drafted power stations for the phone company. In 6 months I was promoted to "Checker" which meant I checked the other draftsman work.
This job lasted 2 years when one day I went to lunch with my supervisor John Kalmetta who told me that I had a great future to W.E. I asked him how much money he made after 25 years with the company and had hit his highest position. When he told me tat he made $25,000, I gave him my resignation and became a plumber making more money then I did as a draftsman. I hated Plumbing as I was the absolute worst plumber in the world. I got married while I was a plumber and one day my new wife Gay Lynn and I went out looking at open houses, (not that we could afford one). A young lady named Shirley Elkins an agent had an open house at a beautiful Spanish home in Millbrae. They were asking $27,500 more that I could even afford. She told us to come back after her open house and she would show some other properties. We did and on the way from her open house to the car she dropped her purse and several checks blew down the street. I ran after them and picked up over $3,000 in un-cashed checks..........! I said that it isn’t good to carry around so much money, her comment was, “I didn’t have time to get to the bank this week”, I said... "Tell me about real estate"...... While doing my apprentice for plumbing, I went to school for my real estate license
After the Army, I moved to Santa Clara while I worked at Western Electric. Then I moved to Millbrae into an apartment on El Camino. I drove to San Francisco to work as a plumber. Then got married in 1967 and moved to a Millbrae apartment. After the 5 year apprentice was over as a plumber. In my last year of plumbing I got my real estate license. One day and after almost falling off of the new Bank of America 57 story building I was working on as a plumber, I quit my job and went into real estate full time in late 1967. Business was good to me and we bought a brand new condo on Darby Lane in San Bruno. We had a son named Scott Gardener Bergman in June of 1970 while in San Bruno. I had a good successful start and wanted my own real estate business a year later. In order to open your known real estate office you have to be a sales agent for two years minimum, so I Then opened my first RE office in San Mateo under my Brokers name Trotter Realty and we moved to a great neighborhood off of Hillsdale boulevard on a cull-d-sac and my daughter Tiffany Faith Bergman was born in October of 1971. From there we moved to a new home in Hillsborough and built a new home on Blue Bell Lane.
Gay and I were married in 1967, had two children and divorced in 1974. I hired the top agent in the area away from a competitor and ended up marrying her. Her name was Klara Yewdall in 1976 and divorced in 1979 in a very messy divorce. (This one cleaned me out). I had opened a total of eight offices by 1976 with more then 300 real estate agents working for me. I also had a business with a partner in Hawaii called “Tropical Pleasure Cruses”. We owned three 100 foot steel hull ships that did dinner cruses on the Honolulu bay.
One day in late 1979 my partner called and said that he had the Miss Hawaii pageant scheduled to come aboard one of the ships during the pageant. I felt a business trip coming on and went to check it out. On the ship were the judges, girls, media, sponsors and governmental officials, I immediately sponsored a girl.
I ended up bring one of the girls running for Miss Hawaii home. I was 37 and she was 19. I ended up marring her in 1983 and this marriage lasted until 1989. By that time I had retired to the wine country. However, I got interested in vineyard and wineries and started a new business still in real estate but my new direction was now wineries and vineyard properties. I wasn’t looking a new wife, I felt that three was enough, I was done with marriage.
Then one day in late 1989 while getting my hair cut, I met my future sole mate Wynne Marie Edwall. We played together for six years when we finally made the decision that we were meant to be together for all times. We met in 1989, married in 1996 and haven't looked back once. She truly is my best friend and trusted partner in life. I can't imagine life without her. I really don't know how she puts up with me at times, but I am grateful.
My first 20 years in the real estate business was in the SF Peninsula specializing in residential and commercial and development real estate and my next 20+ years in real estate specialized in Winery and Vineyard sales and I’m still going.
While in the wine country, my children got married and gave me 3 grand children that I am so happy when they all come over and hang out with Grandpa.
We belong to the Porsche Club of America and like to auto cross and do a lot of back road driving, visiting wineries, small back road historic towns and joining in with our fellow club member. We had their 35th and 40th PCA anniversary group meeting at out home with over 130 people and 75 vintage Porsches. The 4th just happened in July of 2009. We also have a vintage 1961 190SL Mercedes Benz and belong to the Mercedes Cub as well. We hosted an event for the group of 75 at out home in May 2009
Both Wynne and I like to auto-cross, travel and entertain. Our family likes to swim here and go to Hawaii to our home in Princeville, Kauai and hang out snorkel and read on the beach.
Two years of Architecture and many years of learning different aspects of real estate, vineyard operations, running wineries and giving seminars on both. In the early 1970’s I use to take a millionaire to lunch once a week to learn how they did it. I taught real estate sales and still write today for the wine and vineyard owners as to what is happening in our industry. I have been writing real estate articles for the industry since 1970 and still do. Now the articles are all related to the vineyard and winery business. Every quarter of the year, I write an article of how the vineyard/winery business is doing and it is mailed out to 4000 winery and vineyard owners in Napa and Sonoma Counties. If anyone is interested in seeing any of them, go to my website at www.bergmanvineyards.com check them out. Our website was voted the number 1 Vineyard Educational website in the nation 4 years running. I have given accredited seminars to appraiser in Northern California related to values of vineyard and winery properties.
I believe that retirement means "Doing what you love". I meet some of the most interesting people in the world, sell larger then life wineries and beautiful vineyard estates and live in one of the most beautiful places that exists, plus I end each day with a glass of fine wine and great sunset and my best friend.
I am retired doing what I love........ I’ll probably die writing a contract