September 10, 2008
This post begins a series that will appear here from time to time... With no sort of planning, just when I remember to take my camera along with me. The premise is fairly self explanatory, I felt like giving you a glimpse into the bits and pieces of my reality that comprise the world that I know and live in.
The first stop on our tour is Hopson's Service. This place has been in business ever since I can remember, being that I was only five or six when it opened up... We live at the end of a dead end road, and Hopson's sits towards the other end, a little less than a mile from us. When I was a child I would stop in there from time to time with my Dad or Grandfather and stand around in the background looking at all the cars, parts, oil, and junk laying around while they stood around and talked about whatever problem they were having with their cars. The owner was a man named Jimmy Hopson. My memories of him from that time are few, he always seemed to laugh loudly and had the dirtiest hands I've ever seen. He always drove a really cool car. I remember being told late one night his father was on his way out with either his wife or girlfriend and was topping a hill, just a couple of miles from here and was hit head on by a car full of teenagers. The teens had decided to pass a car on a double center line, while topping the same hill that his father and his passenger were on, heading in the opposite direction. Jimmy's father died, but I'm not sure about his passenger. I don't remember the fate of the teens either.
Jimmy ran the place for several years. I had taken my car there when I was a teen several times for oil changes and the like. Given my enjoyment for things out of the ordinary, and love of atmosphere for places that only seem to concentrate on getting things done without minding the "rules" too strictly, I just took to the place. It took me a while to get past the stage of laughing at things like a drink machine that was stocked with beer. Sometimes you don't want to appear to have a strange sense of being easily amused, especially when you're around southern guys that work on cars for a living. They tend not to look on laughing at things they do too kindly, even though it's all harmless. I just get a kick out of the unusual. Jimmy decided to go into semi-retirement a few years ago, so he began leasing the place to Greg.
Greg had been working there steady since 1996, and before that off and on whenever Jimmy needed help. Greg has a good reputation as a mechanic and a fair business man so the move to let him run the place seemed logical.
I went to high school with Greg, so I knew him somewhat from around there. I had an issue with the satanically motivated car I drive, so I decided to stop in and ask him about it. My older brother David used him quite a bit so I figured what the hell. We had just moved out here from town and he's right up the road. I spent an hour or so with Greg talking about the car and business in general. He told me he would take a look at it. On the way back in that evening after work I stopped by and he told me he was done, but wanted to drive it so he would call me in an hour or so. About forty five minutes later there was a knock on the door, Greg was there with the keys. He had driven the car and pronounced it repaired. He told me to just stop by later on in the week to pay the bill, "Drive it a few days to make sure it works alright for you". He had a guy that was working for him follow him down here so he could have a ride back to the shop. I drove it that night and then to work and back the next couple of days and it was indeed running good. So I stopped in to settle up, I wound up sitting around with the guys up there talking for a while, paid the bill and headed home.
One Monday evening I was headed in from work and saw Greg standing in front of the place staring at a group of cars that looked banged up, he had a pissed off look on his face. I stopped in and asked him what was going on. It seems that a couple of guys that lived down the road came in late the previous Friday night after "Drinking and smoking weed all night" and took the curve in front his shop too fast. They "Slid right across the gravel parking lot and took all five of these damn cars out." He pushed his hat back on is head and said, " I showed up here Saturday morning to meet this Mexican guy I'd done some work for so he could pay the five hundred dollar ticket he owed me and pick his car up, I opened up and then walked out here to get his car and saw this mess... that's his damn car right there, the first one they hit". Who knows how fast they were going but they managed to bounce around through all the cars he had sitting there.
Over the years we all have had our cars worked on at Hopson's, everything from transmissions to ac/heater repair to oil changes and flat tires, pretty much anything you would need to have worked on. Greg has even worked on our Kawasaki mule and the odd mower here and there, he even did the body work for me once, after I hit a deer. Bobo is a fixture at the shop as well as a few other dogs, but they were camera shy when I stopped by there today, not to worry though the most harm they will do to you is an excessive amount slobbering, and maybe a few paw prints....
Greg's a good mechanic and an honest straight shooter who will always cut you a fair deal. His shop is at 186 Doc Perry Rd., a little off the beaten path, but well worth it. So if you find yourself around Newnan Georgia and in need of auto work, give him a call - 770-251-4449 - there's no more beer in the drink machine... but he'll be glad to help you out any way he can.