Wilson leaving ‘Shack’ for radio work after 22 years as owner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Six days a week, for the last 45 years, Jimmy Wilson has gotten out of bed and headed into work. On Thursday, that routine will change as he “drops the shack out of Radio Shack” and begins a retirement assisting his son at his radio station.

Wilson has been an Andalusia business figure at Radio Shack for more than 20 years.


Radio Shack owner Jimmy Wilson will close his business on Wednesday.              Stephanie Nelson/Star-News

Radio Shack owner Jimmy Wilson will close his business on Wednesday. Stephanie Nelson/Star-News

“In fact, when I close, it will be two days shy being here 22 years,” Wilson said of his purchase and opening of the local electronics store on Oct. 2, 1992.

Wilson said electronics is something he thought that would become a family business when his then-teenage son, Blaine, came home after working at the store and said the owners were looking to sell.

“The timing was right,” he said of the sale. “I was in auto parts for forever. I worked at Car Quest, and they were moving the warehouse to Montgomery, and I didn’t want to move us to Montgomery.”

The transition from car parts to electronic parts was an easy one, he said.

“My thinking was that for my son, this was a business he enjoyed working in, and it would be something that he could take over one day,” Wilson said. “But instead, he dropped the ‘shack’ and decided to go with just ‘radio.’”

Wilson’s son is owner of WAAO, 103.7 FM.

Throughout the years, Wilson said he has watched the electronic landscape change – sometimes daily.

“Technology is always a challenge, and we’re not a parts-and-pieces society,” he said. “In the good ol’ days, people repaired items. Not anymore. We’re a throw away society. No one repairs anything anymore. It’s cheaper to buy new.”

As for his impending retirement, Wilson said “it’s just time.”

“I’m 67 1/2, and I’ve worked almost six days a week for the last 45 years,” he said. “I’m ready to do something else.”

That “something else” is a laundry list of things that include some traditional answers, like spending time with his four grandsons, attending football games and camping, to some not-so-traditional answers, like heading back to work.

“I am going to help Blaine at the station,” he said. “I’ll find something there to do.

“But mostly, I want to enjoy some good times. I’ve got some horses and donkeys, and I can’t wait to spend time with my grandsons.”

Merchandise in the store is upward to 50 percent off, and what’s not sold will be boxed up put into storage.

“So maybe, if there’s an electronic emergency, I might be able to help someone out,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s Southern Linc customers are urged to use the other local dealer.