Never say never… are a few words of advise from Hicks Goodnight, recently retired manager of National Lumber Company. As a young man, Mr. Goodnight made fun of his brothers for working at a sawmill. Hicks (dad) would look at his brothers, laugh at them, and say “I’m going to high school to get my education cause I’m not going to work at a sawmill like y’all.” Little did he know that is where he would spend the majority of his working life.
After graduating from Todd Central High School in 1970, Mr. Goodnight went to work in a factory. In 1976 he went to work for Clacey Hinton and then for Larry Hinton at Hinton Lumber Company on 1978. He drove a truck for them, hauling chips and lumber to different locations. In 1980, the Hinton Lumber Company (Chandlers sawmill) shut down and Mr. Goodnight went to work for Rockwell. He drove a truck for them until 1985 when the plant closed.
Clacey approached Hicks about returning to work for him. Mr. Goodnight accepted. He was appointed manager of Hinton Lumber Company in Chandlers. Then in 1986 Hinton Lumber Company sold the Chandlers sawmill to National Limber Company.
National Lumber Company requested that Mr. Goodnight stay with them. That’s exactly what he did. Thirty years later, with no intentions of working at a sawmill, Goodnight retired. Hicks Goodnight retired on June 30th, 2016. His son, Billy Goodnight was promoted to fill his shoes as manager.
Goodnight will work part-time for his brother and travel. I asked dad how he liked retirement. He said, “I like not having to get up and push myself to the grindstone.” I asked some co-workers and family members to share some thoughts or memories as a farewell tribute to my dad and words of encouragement for Billy as he begins this new journey.
Olana Whitney- “I am very proud of both my dad and my brother. Dad has taught me to stand on my own tow feet not just by words, but by example and for that I am very grateful. I am very proud of Billy for toughing it out and working hard. He is the best brother I know. I think he will do an awesome Job filling dad’s shoes.”
Debbie Mullins- “I have enjoyed working with Hicks. He has been very good to me and I couldn’t ask for a better person to work for. I look forward to working with Billy. I think he will do a great job. I think it will be a good change.”
Kevin Stratton- “There is not another like him. I am glad to see him retire on his own terms while he still has his health and can enjoy it. He has always given 100 percent. He will be missed.”