OUR VIEW: We’ll miss Woody’s

Published 11:30 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

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Things change. We all hate it, but it’s just the truth. Over the years, the streets and neighborhoods we grew up on, slowly but surely transform — adjusting to the sands of time.

Earlier this week, the building for Woody’s Service Center, a staple of LaGrange, was torn down to make way for a new fast food eatery. Woody’s has been closed for a while now, but it was the last full-service gas station in town.

We wrote a story a few years ago about the closure of the full-service fuel station business, but at that time Woody’s continued to rent Uhauls and service vehicles. 

What made Woody’s special wasn’t just that it was in business for over 50 years. It was that the three generations of family members were working together under one roof —  Wiley, in his 80s, his son, Greg, and grandson, Levi. That’s the epitome of a family business.

“We miss it already … but it’s a new chapter in our lives now,” Greg said when we talked to him this week.

We all do. Of course, we wish the new business, Freddy’s, all the luck in the world as it moves into the familiar spot. But Woody’s will be missed.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many businesses like Woody’s left.

Full service gas stations are going by the wayside (at least in the south), and unfortunately the world today has moved online, so many family businesses are having to close up shop.

In a few years, we’re sure the new restaurant will be a hot spot for ice cream, burgers and more. But some of us, those who have been in Troup County a while, will still picture Woody’s, the family focused and customer centered nature of the business and the uniqueness of what it meant of this community.