Lou Amen, founder of Super A Foods in Southern California, has had an independent spirit since he was young.
He decided he wanted to graduate from high school a year early, so he went to summer school. He got his diploma, just as he planned, in 1946 in Flint, Michigan.
Soon after, the family moved to Southern California, and Amen went to work for A&P. He became a produce manager at the ripe old age of 17 at the store at Hermosa Beach. He lived in the area where Dodger Stadium is today and had to take a bus, then a streetcar, then another bus to get to the store, but he was determined to work to earn his way.
Today, at 87, the chairman of Super A Foods is still at it, working from about 6 a.m. to noon before heading home to tend to his 50 rose bushes or spend time with his wife, Dorie, or maybe some of their massive extended family of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.