BY RYAN SPELTS
Sonny Thompson celebrates 50 years of service
Sonny Thompson is almost a household name for those who have lived in the North Ogden area for some time. When my wife mentioned Sonny’s name to her sister who used to live here, she said, “I know Sonny.” Apparently, he had helped her replace a shower door at one point, and she remembered how kind he was. You will find a similar response from most who have had the opportunity to interact with Sonny over the years.
Recently, Sonny invited us to attend a celebration. We assumed it was because Valley Glass, his employer, had opened their new building. The celebration, however, was honoring Sonny for working at Valley Glass for 50 years! Yes, you read that right. Sonny started with Valley glass in 1971. He was the neighbor of Jerry Naylor and went to school with Jerry’s son, Mark. Sonny had worked for Jerry farming hay and, one day, Jerry said he would hire Sonny down at the glass shop if he was interested. Sonny needed a job, and so he started. Over the half-decade he has worked there, he has worked in glass installations on cars, been moved up to window production, and then to installation on location at clients’ homes or places of business. For the last 10 years, he was able to move primarily into sales, and he is amazing at it, because of his love for so many people in the area. On the side, Sonny also runs Thompson Ranch and raises cattle. He just loves to work.
I asked Sonny why he has been at one place for so long, and he said, “Well, I love it!” Some people just get lucky and find something they love early on. I asked about the history of Valley Glass, and Sonny told me that Bill Naylor started a business replacing auto glass out of a shop down on Grant Avenue and 23rd Street in 1956. Originally called Intermountain Jobbers, then Northern Utah Glass (NUG for short), they moved to Idaho and decided to unify the names under the moniker Valley Glass. Bill’s son, Jerry, eventually took over, and then his son, Mark; he currently runs the family business.
In 1977, they built a building at their current location on Lincoln Ave in Ogden and have expanded over the years with locations in Boise, Idaho Falls, Ogden, Layton, and Salt Lake. The company has owned a warehouse across the street from their auto glass shop on Lincoln since 1961 and just recently finished remodeling it; they’ve turned it into a new state of the art showroom.
The new building is one of those wonderful places in Ogden where a company is able to retain a beautiful old brick structure yet modernize it to fill their needs in today’s market. I love these types of buildings. Inside, you will find examples of windows, mirrors, and glass showers. If you have a commercial need, there is a section with modern glass walls and sliding doors. It is really something!
Congratulations, Sonny and Valley Glass! You both bring a ton to our community. Thanks for doing great work.
Business: Valley Glass
202 21st Street
Ogden, UT 84401