Mr. Collier told me he is 85-years old so I asked, “What’s the secret to a long life,” as he puffed away on his cigarette. He smiled and said, “Pray a lot, go to church and be nice to your neighbors.” In our conversation on Wednesday night he talked about how he put in 20-years at General Electric in Murfreesboro before the company closed the plant down. One year passed after the company closed and in 2007 they auctioned off machinery that was still in the structure. The building was later torn down in 2013.
In the GE heydays’, the Murfreesboro plant manufactured electric motors for washers and dryers. The facility first opened in 1957. At the ground breaking ceremony an actor visited Murfreesboro to announce that General Electric would soon be opening a new plant on Broad Street. The actor was hired in California. In case you are curious as to who that actor was, his name was Ronald Reagan.
“After GE I delivered flowers for Rion’s Flower Shop for 15-years,” he told me. He then said that he is now retired. As our talk continued he said that his wife just passed away. Apparently, she died about 4-months ago and she was in her fifties. “My first wife died at age 72,” he told me. His son Ronald died in 2014 at the age of 58. Changing the subject he said, “My other son has spent 22-years in the service.”
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” - George Washington Carver