Senior in Action – Stanley “Stan” Keyawa, Jr.

Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen
Former County of LA Public Library Administrator is having the time of her life as a retiree; meeting fascinating people who are active seniors, and volunteering for Soroptimist International of Norwalk and other women’s groups.

Senior in Action – Stanley “Stan” Keyawa, Jr.

as told to Marilee Marrero Stefenhagen

Stan Keyawa will be 68 in 2023, but has no immediate plans to retire from the family business at Professional Drum Shop in Hollywood. Bob Yeager opened the Professional Drum Shop in 1959 and became Stan’s stepfather in 1970. Stan proudly describes their store as the “#1 Drum Shop in the Nation. My brothers Jerry, Tom and I treat all customers the same, whether they’re a celebrity, or a beginner looking for a pair of drum sticks. I’ve been working at Professional Drum Shop since age 12; at that time, my stepdad paid me $1 an hour, close to minimum wage in 1966. In fact, all five of my siblings helped out at the store at one time or another.”

Music played a vital role in Stan’s development. His dad, Stan “Keys” Keyawa composed music, including the famous RIN TIN TIN television theme song, and his mother, Dolores Yeager, played bass in a band. Stan Jr. studied piano, but also took drum lessons at the store every Saturday. He played drums in the high school Jazz Band and Orchestra. Stan stated, “I saw the writing on the wall, and studied business and accounting at Valley College to enhance my career at the drum shop, rather than pursuing the lifestyle of a touring musician.”

Stan reflected, “I’m a handy kind of guy. I’ve rebuilt engines, rehabbed houses, and bought an old power boat which we totally rebuilt. My three sons worked on almost every handyman project with me and are also very good at taking things apart and putting them back together. I think our model rocket hobby led to our twin sons becoming “rocket scientists” at Jet Propulsion Laboratories, and perhaps our building projects propelled our oldest son into his career as Building Engineer at Sacramento State University.”

Stan and his wife Connie married right after high school and celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in 2022. Connie shares his passion for waterskiing, and their family enjoys motorboating and skiing every summer at Pine Flat Dam Reservoir. Family includes their golden retrievers Sammy and Benny who love mountain walks, ball playing and the water. Stan shared, “It’s a cheap vacation (except of course the cost of gasoline to power our boat) because the family owns 9 acres with a trailer on a federal lake.”

Besides water skiing, Stan gets his exercise walking over 2.5 miles a day at the Professional Drum Shop, pulling stock and waiting on customers. Stan said, “We’ve seen many famous people at the Professional Drum Shop, from actors like Marlon Brando and Laurence Fishburne to some of the greatest drummers of all time, like Buddy Rich and Shelly Manne. Although working at a family business can sometimes feel like a life sentence, I have no regrets. I love it.”

Follow The Professional Drum Shop on Instagram @prodrumhollywood, visit their store located at 854 Vine Street in Hollywood, or order online at

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