Local technician retires after 28 years at Waynesville Automotive
Waynesville Automotive technician Clifford "Cliff" Barnes — a familiar face to regular customers — wrapped up his last month in the industry in September.
"Time don't wait on you, and you can't work forever," he said.
Barnes began working at Waynesville Automotive when he was 38 years old on Sept. 26, 1985, where he did anything from an oil change to a major car repair, primarily specializing in Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.
"I started this type of work as a hobby in high school," he said. "Then after I returned from the military, I got a job at a full service station."
Barnes then went on to open his own business, which he owned for about 13 years, before beginning his job at Waynesville Automotive.
On a day that marked both his 28-year anniversary and one of his last days at work, Barnes' coworkers threw him a party Thursday, Sept. 26, where they revealed his parting gift — a brand new riding lawn mower, which should come in handy with his retirement plans.
"I just hope to enjoy time at home with the family," he said. Barnes and his wife, Patricia, have two sons, David and Andrew, who live in the area. Barnes' parents, Dexter and Louise Barnes, are also located in Haywood County.
Known as "Uncle Cliff" to several of the employees at Waynesville Automotive, Barnes will be a face that is missed by both coworkers and those who often have their cars serviced at the business.
"I appreciate everything he has done. The guy doesn't want to give up on a car until it's fixed," said Dave Johnson, service director. "I hope I don't lose customers when they find out he's gone."
Waynesville Automotive is located at 280 Hyatt Creek Road in Waynesville.