Joe Braunschweig spent his young years growing up in a small Minnesota town mainly comprised of Germans and Norwegians. His dad was a wheat farmer.
During World War II, the family moved to Washington, where Braunschweig met his wife, Sherry. Braunschweig made his living making windows at a factory. He later landed a job working for Valley Glass in Kent and made his way up to a managerial position before he left in 1972.
He was inspired to open his own store with his brother, Lou, and they bought the Niemen Glass store in Tacoma.
“We started with one store,” said Braunschweig. “By the time we were done, we had 17 stores.”
Braunschweig and his brother eventually sold their stores to their managers in 1980. That’s when Braunschweig decided he wanted to go into the commercial division. He went to work putting windows on many well known high-rise buildings such as the Sheraton in Tacoma, the VA Hospital in Spokane and the federal building in Omaha, Neb.
“I have worked in 43 states,” he said. “I have seen 10 inches of rainfall in three hours. Seattle gets less rain than every major city east of the Rockies.”
Shortly before Braunschweig went into the commercial glass business, he and his wife saw an ad in the paper for Crescent Bar condominiums.
As he recalls, 88 of them were built at the time. “We came here and loved it,” said Braunschweig. “We started renting every year until 1983 at which time we bought a condo.”
Braunschweig remembers when he first brought his brood of four girls and two sons to see Crescent Bar.
“We turned onto Crescent Bar Road and the kids were so excited,” said Braunschweig. “We spent nine days there the first time. “They have been coming here ever since.” In 2005, Braunschweig bought a condominium when he and his wife decided they would stay for good.
Although Braunschweig owns a house on the other side of the mountains, his wife spends only a few days there during the year. He likes that the people in Quincy are friendly, the lines in the stores aren’t too long and there is not a lot of traffic.
“This is a friendly place to come to,” said Braunschweig about Crescent Bar. “We are like everybody else. There is no 206 or 509. We should be warm and welcoming to each other.”
Braunschweig is always busy. He is on the board of Crescent Bar White Condos and is also on the board of Sunserra. “Being on the board of both gives me a chance to help keep this place in good repair and in good shape. There are 800 units down here. There is a group of us working to develop a Crescent Bar community.”
He still does some light construction work and bidding for jobs on request. He also has rentals in the greater Puget Sound area. “I manage to stay busy,” said Braunschweig.
When he gets a chance he enjoys traveling to Hawaii, or taking his wife to the Oregon Coast. Most of the time, though, he is happy in Crescent Bar in his own slice of Central Washington paradise.
“There’s a lot of things to do over here,” he said. “You can go to Chelan and come back in the evening. You can go to Spokane or the Tri-Cities. We are at the center of a lot of things to do in Washington. Washington is a beautiful state with everything from wheat fields to desert. You don’t have to go anywhere else.”