Sadly, we say goodbye to Gene Jackson Tire Co. in Ashland.
Owner Steve Jackson announced his retirement this week and the closure of the business on Carter Avenue.
This closure has nothing to do with lack of business or the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s all about a man who has devoted his professional life to a business and is ready to retire.
It’s a sad occasion because the business has existed for more than 70 years, and we all hate to see a long-lived establishment end for any reason.
It’s sad because, even though the business had only a handful of employees, some workers will lose their jobs.
It’s also sad because it’s a family-owned business with a meaningful history that will be lost.
The business began as a tire store in 1947, when Gene Jackson sold tires for General Tire and Rubber.
As an elementary school student, Steve Jackson began working for his father. Between college classes and military service, he worked for his father. More than 30 years ago, the father handed off the business to the son.
While the business has seen some changes over the years, one thing has been constant, Jackson said: honest.
He said he prides himself on honest dealings, especially with women, who often aren’t as educated about automobile maintenance and feel as though they are likely to be cheated at a garage.
“I made a conscious decision never to cheat a woman,” Jackson said. “They know we’re not cheating them.”
Although retirement is a welcome event to be celebrated, Jackson might find it a bittersweet experience. Going from having a daily routine to not having a daily routine is an adjustment for someone who has always worked. But over the years, because of treatment of customers, we are sure if he gets lonely, he will find he has many friends who would welcome a visit.