By Jesse Wood
April 25, 2014. Hampton’s Body Shop in Boone celebrated its 50th anniversary with a community barbeque lunch on Friday afternoon.
Joyce Hampton, the widow of founder Wayne Hampton was sitting at the entrance to the garage, greeting community members and customers who came to celebrate the anniversary with some good food and camaraderie. One such person walked by Joyce, looked at the barbeque truck, the spread, the cake, the balloons and said, “You went all out for this.”
Joyce just smiled.
That’s the way Wayne, who passed away in February at the age of 76, just weeks before the 50th anniversary, would have wanted it.
“He talked about it before he passed away, to do something special and we wanted to go through with what he wanted done,” said his son Dwayne, who has managed the business with his brother Toby for the past 15 years.
Remembering the beginnings, Joyce said she never imagined the business would last into its 50th. Whenever Wayne bought his first body shop, Joyce said it came with a wrecker and had only one employee. Now, Hampton’s Body Shop employs 17 people and operates a number of wreckers.
Joyce even recounted that first day Hampton’s Body Shop opened.
“[Wayne] got up to go to work, but he had the mumps,” Joyce said. “He missed the first week of work.”
“I wish he would of got to see [this anniversary]. He passed away in February, and I feel like he is looking down on us today,” Joyce added.
Dwayne, 47, and his younger brother Toby, 39, have many memories of running around the shop and riding in the tow trucks with their father as kids and working at the business once they got older. Now, the goal is to the keep the business going for maybe another 50 years.
“It is an honor and we just hope to be able to continue with his legacy and not let the community down and still provide the same service we have for the last 50 years,” Dwayne said.
Check out Bob Caldwell’s photos of the 50th anniversary celebration below.