Zimmerman Retires From Dry Clean Only

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For the past 36 years, Greg Zimmerman has helped people look their best for special occasions by keeping their clothes clean and pressed.

This August, he officially retired and closed the doors at Dry Clean Only, a staple in downtown Hillsboro for decades.

"It was just time," said Zimmerman, whose last day was Saturday, Aug. 3. "When that heat wave came up a couple of weeks ago, I just knew it was time to do something else."

After being laid off from the coal mine in the 1980s, Zimmerman purchased the Dry Clean Only business from Jack Thompson.

"It just happened to open up at that time," Zimmerman said. "I talked to Jack Thompson. He wanted out, and it was the perfect opportunity for me."

Zimmerman gives much credit to his dad, Robert Zimmerman, and his brother, Kent Zimmerman, for helping to keep all the machines up and running over the years. 

He said that he started working at Dry Clean Only in a part-time capacity when he purchased it, as he was also working as a golf caddy for his sister, pro gofler, Mary Beth Zimmerman. After that, he took over the business full-time.

Over the years, his favorite part of owning and operating Dry Clean Only was the people.

"You just get to know everyone," he said. "It wasn't only a customer-type thing. It was a friendship. That's the great part about small-town USA."

He added that he had some of the same customers each and every week during the past 36 years.

"Some of them I saw more than I saw my own kids," Zimmerman joked with a smile.

But spending more time with his family is one thing he is really looking forward to in retirement. He has three children, Justin (wife Jessica) Zimmerman of Edwardville, Remington Zimmerman of St. Louis, MO, and Mallory Zimmerman of Houston, TX, and two grandchildren, June and Joanna Helen.

"I know that everyone says that they are going to spend more time with their family when they retire, but I'm really looking forward to it," he said.

Zimmerman added he's also looking forward to doing some more golfing, including a trip to Scotland with friends next year.

At this time, Zimmerman has no plans for the building, and suggests dry cleaning services in Springfield, Edwardvsille, Taylorville and Highland for local customers.

"I'm going to miss the people the most," Zimmeran said. "Some people have been coming here for 36 years. I see them every week. You kind of come to rely on them, and worry about them when they're not there. That's the advantage of living in a small town. I've created a lot of friendships over business."

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