Mike Hill of Clean Cut wasn’t mowing a lawn when his phone rang with the Walker Talk editor on the line. He was driving to the family lake house three hours east of Louisville, Kentucky.
The first Walker Talk issue 25 years ago featured Atlanta company Scapes. Owner Steve Coffey had been in the industry since the mid-1970s. In 1992, his company owned eight Walker Mowers and generated annual sales of $5.5 million. Seven years later, in December 1999, he sold Scapes to TruGreen. He purchased a home in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, and took up snowboarding and enjoying other outdoor activities in a serious way.
Seven years ago, readers of Walker Talk, Volume 36, saw an image of Elmer Groom, owner of Jacksonville, Florida-based Groom Gardens, doing the Walker Wave. Well, he’s still at it on that same property. In addition, the veteran landscape contractor continues to mow and maintain the 20-acre Pilot Pen headquarters facility he’s had for 20 years.
By Rod Dickens, Editor
Just as smartphones changed the way you do business, they altered the landscape for editors as well. Not only do they take professional-quality images, but smartphones also make busy folks like yourself available for a quick interview. Spend a few moments on your phone, have someone snap a photo of you, and the story is nearly ready to publish without the editor ever leaving his or her desk.
Carl Polite started mowing lawns to help his sons, just as the title of the story in Walker Talk, Volume 28, read, “Hey Dad, Could You Give Us a Hand?” That was 14 years before the Walker Talk visit in 2006. By then, however, his sons moved on and Polite Lawn Care Service in Aiken, South Carolina, with a crew of four Hispanic brothers, was mowing 35 accounts three days a week. In between, the owner was also working a full-time job.
Lawn Masters owner, Jim Dubberly, was on the cover of Walker Talk, Volume 6. He was in business in Sebring, Florida, for eight years and maintained 250 properties with five Walker Mowers. Now, 61 years old, this lawn maintenance veteran is celebrating 30 years in business, and the same formula that worked for him 20-plus years ago is still his ticket to success.