As a Yankee, Snowbird, Northerner, or whatever I might be called as a result of my Midwestern roots, I heard the term “Southern Gentleman” from time to time. When I was stationed at Dobbins Air Force Base, Marietta, Georgia, I began to understand what that meant. I had a neighbor who I came to regard as a real Southern Gentleman. I consider the four generations of the Huggins family of Huggins Outboard in Albany, Georgia to be the epitomes of Southern Gentlemen.
I did not have the honor of meeting Frank Huggins who started the family business in 1941 while also holding down a full time job. He had the entrepreneurial spirit to start Huggins Outboard in a dirt floor garage with galvanized tin siding. He passed away in early 1979. However, I have had the good fortune know the second generation of Huggins Outboard entrepreneurs, Bill Huggins, for many years. In fact, Bill was a key member of my dealer council for a while when I was head of outboard sales for OMC.
I was saddened when Bill called me a few months ago to tell me that his son Richard had died from bladder cancer. But when he told me that Richard’s son, the fourth generation, was coming to Huggins Outboard to take over the dealership, I was moved to write an article for Soundings Trade Only about this remarkable family. Richard’s son Matthew Huggins, a CPA, recently resigned from Draffin & Tucker, a corporate accounting firm, to become the fourth generation to head up Huggins Outboard. And Matthew has the good fortune of having his grandpa Bill Huggins to coach him as he takes over running the business.
Click to read the full story that I wrote about the four generations of Huggins Outboard, “Profit is Not a Dirty Word” in case you didn’t see it in the September 2014 issue of Soundings Trade Only. (Reprinted with permission from Soundings Trade Only.)
I enjoyed a long visit with Eddie Smith as I was preparing an article on this industry legend for the February issue of Soundings Trade Only. It had been years since Eddie and I had connected. I don’t even want to think about how many years ago it was when I first got to know Eddie. But I do know he was a great guy back then and he hasn’t changed. Continue reading →
Don Galey, Galey’s Marine, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, is still as sharp and energetic as he was back when I first met him. I first met Don back when he was a Johnson dealer in Bakersfield, California and I was heading up outboard sales for OMC. What is really neat about Don is that once you know him, he becomes your friend and stays your friend no matter what. Just ask Slim Summerville, former partner and head of marketing and sales for Bayliner boats. Or check with Sonny Lodder of Lodder’s Marine in Cincinnati. They will tell you the same.
Even though I have not had any business dealings with Don for years and years, he calls me periodically just to check in and see how I am doing. And there is no business incentive for him to do that. He does it because he is a true friend. Don is still very energetic for a guy who is 80 years young. For example, he just recently went to South Dakota on a hunting trip with his son Mark, friend Sonny Lodder, and some other good buddies. And once a year he goes on a fishing trip with a group of friends to South America.