Gladman MHRC: Bill Woodle - The Long Haul

Submitted by: David Damschen

The year was 1972. Men were walking on the moon, Godfather was playing in theaters and the President of the United States was resigning.

The year was 1972. A gallon of gas cost ¢0.35, the average monthly rent was $165.00 and you could buy a brand new Pinto for $2,078.00.

The year was 1972. People were becoming addicted to a new thing called Pong and a young, optimistic man named Bill Woodle walked into looking for a job.

The year is now 2014 and, 42 years later, a not so young, but still optimistic Bill Woodle, has decided to retire from Gladman. Sorta.

When I asked Bill why he stayed so long at Gladman, he said, “I am happy here. I have always been happy here.” Then after a moment he added, “It’s always been interesting. I have never got up in the morning and dreaded going to work.”

I then asked Bill why he decided, after all these years, this was the time to leave Gladman. He replied with a smile on his face, “Well, I am getting older…and our clients are getting younger. I just thought it was time to wind down a little bit. But I’m not leaving.”

“What did you enjoy most while working at Gladman?” I inquired. Bill said, “I loved taking our clients on outings. It was so great seeing them back in the community. It really meant something to me. And they seemed to enjoy it a lot.”

“I thought you were retiring”, I said.

“Oh no.” he replied. “I am still going to be around; I am going to work on-call.”

After my interview with Bill I could not stop thinking what a wonderful and modest man he is. And, after more than four decades at Gladman, how he still oozes with optimism.

And it was comforting to know that evening, that when Bill fired up his orange Harley Heritage Softail — with serious gangster white walls and chrome, glittering in the dying sunlight, that this would not be the last time we would see Bill. In fact, I am willing to bet he will be around for a very long time to come.