Soul of 78- Rick Waldrop

“I got into the car business in 1978, when my dad opened a car lot in Jasper. After working with him for a few years, I went to AMC Jeep, which is now Jasper Honda. When I left AMC, I got out of the car business for a while. For about 10 years I kept trying to find a way to get back into it, because I missed it a lot. It was something I really enjoyed.”

“In 1992, I had the opportunity to go to work at Carl Cannon. I worked there for 16 years – and I wouldn’t trade a day of my time there. I made so many good friends, good memories, and good relationships with customers while I was there. It really made me feel good when I had families who bought cars from me, come back and bring their kids to buy their first car. Or the 16-year-old girl getting her first car would come back with her husband years later and buy a car from me. It’s a good feeling when people put that kind of trust in you. Because, you know, buying a car is the second biggest financial decision you make, right next to buying a house.”

“I took about a 5-year hiatus after Carl Cannon before coming to Waldrop Motors with my brother, Ronnie. When I think about who I’ve worked for, I’ve really had it good. Mr. Cannon was a great guy to work for, because when you work at Carl Cannon it’s truly like you’re part of a family.”

“It was a good decision for me to go into this business because I’m not physically able – I had polio when I was two years old. And I’ve always walked with a pretty pronounced limp. Of course, I wasn’t able to get a job in the coal mines, or climb a telephone pole, or whatever, I just wasn’t able to do the physical work, so all of this really worked out good for me. The car business has helped me support my family, put my kids through school, and make a good living.”

“I’m one of four boys and one of the things my dad instilled in all of us was a strong work ethic. We were brought up working in my grandparent’s chicken houses, and we were all expected to work in them, and cut the grass, do whatever was needed to be done. I’m thankful of the fact that my dad didn’t treat me differently than he treated any of my brothers, even though I had a handicap.”

“People ask me why I work, they ask why I don’t just take disability. As long as I’m able to work and contribute I plan on working. I’ve never really looked at it from the standpoint of being crippled, I’ve always looked at it as a hindrance more than anything. If I could say anything to parents who have kids with handicaps – encourage them. Don’t treat them any differently. Teach them to do the best at what they’re able to do.”

-Rick Waldrop, Manager and Salesman at Waldrop Motors

#Soulof78 #78Magazine

Photo + Interview by Blakeney Cox

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