By Margret Hill
Please allow me to introduce you to the San Bernardino Black Culture Foundation 2018 Senior King and Queen, Don and Celeste Griggs. Congratulations Royalty.
Mrs. Celeste Brown Griggs was born in Waterloo, Iowa. She graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1963, where she was a class mate and sweet heart of Don Griggs. Mrs. Griggs joined Don in California after his return from overseas duty. They were married in 1965 in Oceanside, California.
After moving to the Inland Empire, Celeste worked for Pacific Telephone Company and attended San Bernardino Valley College. She became a home maker with their three children for five years before deciding to return to the work force. She worked for Kaiser Permanent for twenty-seven years, retiring as Supervisor of staffing and payroll in the Appointment Center in Fontana.
Mr. Don Griggs was born in Waterloo, Iowa. He graduated from East Waterloo High School in 1961. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United State Marine Corps where he served for four years. He was employed by Southern California Edison for ten years before entering the retail business. Eager to be involved with his new community, Don was instrumental in bringing Boy Scouting to the inner city of San Bernardino serving as a Neighborhood Commissioner over seeing several troops and Cub Packs during the late sixties. Don took boys on overnight scouting trips and chaperoned them at the Helen Dade Boy Scouts of America Camp in Lake Arrowhead during the summer.
Griggs is well known for his impeccable style of clothing and his love for neckties. He was co-owner of Irv Silvers Men’s Fashions for fifteen years, having stores located in the Inland Center Mall of San Bernardino and The Tyler Galleria of Riverside. He became President of the Merchants Association at Tyler Galleria.
He was hired by Nordstrom’s to manage the Men’s Clothing Department for fifteen years until he retired. While there, he was able to display and sell his personal design collection of ties; “Designs by Don”. Always one to ensure that employees of all races were treated with equity, Mr. Griggs co-founded the Diversity Board to oversee that a certain percentage of employees hired were people of color.
Mr. Griggs has been a small business owner for over thirty years. “I felt there was a niche market that had not been touched in men’s neckwear. I envisioned a quality line of African print men’s neckwear that would reflect elegance and significance, while appealing to professional and distinguished men.”
The Griggs were volunteers at Priscilla’s Helping Hands and now host H.U.G.S (Home Unity Growth Groups).