Unique Vantage Point

by Tim Cromley, Marketing Manager

I began working with the Walker Talk project in 1995 and, even though I had a lot more hair back then, what I didn’t have was a clue about how unique the opportunity was that I was beginning to experience. See, the way stories are gathered for Walker Talk is usually by an interaction Bob Walker or one of our staff had with a customer, whether in the field or by correspondence. Then, as we get to know these people, we realize that their stories would be great to share with others. Typically, this means that we hand off the story to our editor, Rod Dickens, and he contacts the customers, makes a visit, gets to know them by listening to their stories, takes photos and then writes their stories.

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Evolving to Preserve and Grow

Filoli Center puts a different twist on the old saying: The only thing constant is change. Since appearing 22 years ago in Walker Talk, Volume 6, this historic country estate, located in Woodside, California, has evolved to ensure its preservation. At the same time, it has expanded its role as a place for the public to learn more about and enjoy early 20th century cultural traditions and natural history.
What hasn’t changed over the years is the magnificent beauty of the 654-acre property that includes 16 acres of formal gardens and a 43-room mansion, both of which are open to the public for self-guided and guided tours. There’s still approximately four acres of turf to mow once a week during the growing season as well, a task that’s charged to the estate’s Walker Mower and a Honda push mower. Two of 14 horticulturists, Justin Brown and David Shippy, share mowing duties on Mondays when the house and gardens are closed to the public.

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Age Still No Barrier for Ralph Anderson

In 2009, when Walker Talk visited Anderson Lawn Care in Wyanet, Illinois, owner, Ralph Anderson, was 76 years old, and his four Walker Mowers and five employees maintained 75 accounts. Anderson turns 85 this year and slowing down is not part of his DNA. His five employees and four Walker Mowers maintain at least 60 accounts, divided nearly in half between residential and commercial/institutional accounts.

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Some Things Change, Some Stay the Same

Top Notch Services in Granville, Illinois, still uses Walker Mowers. At 78 years old, company founder, Burdette Mills, is going strong, although son, Jeff, runs the business now. And the company has many of the same customers it had.

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We're Still Versatile

Some companies find a niche and stick with it. That’s what the Bash family did in Arlington, Ohio. Owners, Tim and Laura Bash, and son, Ben, provide virtually the same services to many of the same homeowner customers they did six years ago when they appeared in Walker Talk, Volume 38.
Bash Lawn & Services mows, fertilizes, applies mulch, prunes, installs seasonal color, shapes beds, aerates and rolls lawns, and the list goes on.

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Owners of a Special Niche

Bob Vickery, owner of the The Planter’s Touch in Easley, South Carolina, had just left behind a 21-year career as a banker when he and wife, Cile, appeared in Walker Talk, Volume 27. He was 44 back then. At age 62 now, Vickery has no regrets. The owner/operator, with Cile managing the business end of their company, has plenty of work. With two full-time employees, The Planter’s Touch mows 46 accounts a week with two Walker Mowers, provides turf care for nearly 100 properties, and offers landscape design and installation services to another 25 customers.

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