PHOTO: Gene Furmanek, a former Alsip firefighter, started G & L Trophies in Oak Lawn 31 years ago. The store sells primarily police and fire items and supplies props to shows like Mike and Molly and Chicago Fire. His son Tim, an Oak Lawn police lieutenant, now operates the store. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media
OAK LAWN, IL - Tim Furmanek likes to record episodes of the CBS comedy “Mike & Molly,” then scrutinize them, virtually frame by frame.
It’s not that he’s some obsessed fan of the show, which features an overweight Chicago cop and his wife, a fourth-grade teacher in the city also struggling with her weight. He’s scouring each scene to catch a glimpse of something from his family’s Oak Lawn business, G & L Trophies & Gifts.
Started more than three decades ago by his father, Gene, a former Alsip firefighter, G&L provides all kinds of props for the show, and is supplying items for another network show coming this fall and being filmed in Chicago.
The store, 4038 W. 111th St., sells police- and firefighter-themed apparel, artwork, books, collectibles and other items. Gene Furmanek started the business out of his home in 1981, creating plaques and trophies for local police officers’ and firefighters’ promotions and retirements. He retired from the Alsip Fire Department in 1991.
“We probably did two or three orders (for ‘Mike & Molly’) last year,” Tim Furmanek, an Oak Lawn police lieutenant, said.
The business was contacted earlier this year by the production company for a drama called “Chicago Fire,” shepherded by Dick Wolf, the creator of “Law & Order” and its assorted incarnations. The program will debut Oct. 10, two days after the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire.
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