Parts suppliers convention has personal touch for ex-Sweet Home couple

Sean C. Morgan

Bill and Hannelore Kutsch of West Sacramento, Calif., celebrated their 58th anniversary on Swamp Mountain last week.

For the Kutsches, it was a return to the place they got married – Sweet Home.

They were there as part of a United Parts Network convention hosted by Radiator Supply House.

On Swamp Mountain Thursday, June 21, in front of more than 200 visitors from across the country – as well as the United Kingdom and Australia – Radiator Supply House presented them with a decorative metal sign to commemorate the anniversary.

RSH hosted the annual convention of UPN members last week, providing tours and activities around Sweet Home, with a variety of events, lunch and concerts, Saturday at the business. The event is hosted annually by different businesses in the network, an association of independent parts firms.

Among last week’s activities, Cascade Timber Consulting hosted a lunch by Angila Tack Food Services and a visual tour of a McCollum Logging site on Hill family timber property managed by CTC, Thursday on Swamp Mountain.

Radiator Supply House owner Will Garrett and Marketing Director Wes Collins presented the sign, created by Travis Northern, to the Kutsches, who operate B&R Head and Block Repair in West Sacramento, at the edge of the mountain overlooking a foggy logging site.

The two were married on June 21, 1960, the same day 58 years ago, in Sweet Home. They were joined for the presentation by their son, Dieter Kutsch.

Garrett’s father and business partner, Mitch Garrett performed “Love Me Tender” with an acoustic guitar and harmonica.

“I might have logged on this hill,” Bill told the crowd. The logging site is a 60-year-old stand of reprod.

Kutsch said he also logged around Green Peter before the couple moved to Coos Bay, where he took a mill job working for Weyerhaeuser.

On an invite from a friend, they went into business in West Sacramento about 47 years ago.

“This teared me up,” Bill said of the moment. “Thinking I might’ve been logging right down there.”

Garrett said he was in West Sacramento visiting the Kutsches on business. When they learned the convention was to be in Sweet Home, they decided they had to attend.

During the visit to Swamp Mountain, CTC President Milt Moran thanked Radiator Supply House for inviting his company to share what it does and to represent Sweet Home.

He told UPN visitors that the 15-year-old Radiator Supply House has been a great partner, noting the company’s contribution to the unveiling ceremony for the Highway 20 Medal of Honor Highway signs placed near Shea Point earlier this year.

Moran said he asked, and RSH produced.

Garrett said that when he and his brother, Ryan, moved to Sweet Home and opened Radiator Supply House, “all I heard about is Milt and the company he runs.”

Whether it’s helping build the Jim Riggs Community Center or taking care of Sweet Home families that might be in trouble, “this company steps up and gets behind the families” and community.

He called the members of the timber industry “the hardest working guys in the community,” and he thinks “that’s what built this small community.”