Today

Hodges Rent All offers a variety of services to Monterey and its neighboring communities. We rent out equipment, fix your tools, and fill your propane tanks. 

The Past

“WHEN Howard Hodges was 14 years old he bought three bicycles – one new, two used – with the money he earned by working at his fathers gas station in New Monterey.

He took the bikes down to the gas station and propped them up next to a  "For Rent" sign. World War II was on, money was short, and a lot of kids did not have bikes of their own. So they came to the gas station and rented Howard’s bicycles for 25 cents an hour...

GI’s from For Ord would bring their girlfriends, rent a bike and make the loop from Monterey to the 17 Mile Drive over the Carmel Hill and back to Monterey..."

 

"Howard Hodges grew up in the gas station. By the time he got out of the Army, his father owned it, and in 1947 his father sold it to him.

Hodges soon discovered that he only way to increase his profits was to work harder and put in more hours, and that there was practical limit to how much of that he could do.

A cousin told him of a company in San Mateo that had begun renting out construction tools. ‘They rent a shovel get two bucks – and they keep the shovel,’ his cousin reported.

Hodges remembering his own success with the bicycles, went up to San Mateo to take a look, liked what he saw, and came home with some ideas..."

 

"Hodges, 67, who has a pleasant face and a gentle smile beneath wispy white hair and wired rimmed bifocals, says some of his customers have been with him since his gas station days, and many have celebrate major milestones in their lives with items rented from his store.

‘People will say “I rented a baby bed when my granddaughter came down to visit, and now she’s getting married and I need some tables and chairs and a punch bowl,” he says.

About the only thing you cant rent from Hodges now is a bicycle – unless you want a stationary one, the kind you use for exercise.

But he still remembers his first three bikes.

They went everywhere, giving GI’s and neighborhood kids self-powered tours of the Monterey Peninsula for just 25 cents. And they got Howard Hodges into the rental business..."

 

Source:

Calvin Demmon

Monterey Herald, Section D, Serra's Children

Published: February 3rd, 1994