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When Postma’s Furniture first opened on Pioneer Blvd. in 1962, the store’s owner Bill Postma was a strapping man of 37 years old. That was 53 years ago. On December 10, he will be turning 90 years old.
But you wouldn’t guess that if you ever meet Mr. Postma. He’s still very active, both physically and mentally. “I’ve been very healthy throughout all my life, up until May of this year when I suffered a stroke,” said Postma. Rest assured, he has recovered very well and can still be seen walking up and down Pioneer Blvd., and saying hi to his neighbors.
“Ninety years old,” reflected Mr. Postma, “it sounds old. But I do pretty much everything I did before, but a little slower.”
Prior to opening Postma’s Furniture, Bill served in the United States Air Force toward the end of World War 2, and he taught 7th grade at Bellflower Christian for three years. He also worked for Coopman Furniture in Bellflower before he opened up his own furniture store. The building that Postma’s now occupies was actually a furniture store prior to Bill’s moving in, called Frawley’s Furniture, which dates its grand opening on Pioneer Blvd. to shortly after World War One.
“When I opened up Postma’s Furniture in 1962,” said Postma, “there were more cows than people. What drew us was the Dutch community at the time, as I am Dutch myself.”
While there is another store in Artesia that has been around longer than Postma’s Furniture, the furniture store is the last store in Artesia’s downtown from the 1960s. In a way, it’s a sort of enigma, as the store is surrounded by mostly Indian and Pakistani businesses. These businesses moved in approximately 30-35 years ago.
“I enjoy all the Indian businesses, and they are some of the friendliest people I know,” said Postma. “The neighbors changed over time, and they’re still changing, but it’s still a friendly town. There’s Cambodians, Indians, and of course the Portuguese and the Dutch. That’s why I like Artesia.”
Mr. Postma is celebrated his birthday on December 12 at his furniture store on 18615 Pioneer Blvd.