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A Friend of the Family

Mister Goodloe often met customers at the counter of the Northside location.

Kirk Daniel, Guy Lites, Harry Hollomon, Carl Friel

Kirk Daniel can describe in detail the wedding present Mister Goodloe gave him and his wife in 1968—an antique gravy lift with a buck’s head handle. “Mrs. Yancey may have picked it out, or maybe even Myrna Guthrie,” he says, “but it came from Mister Goodloe, and it meant a lot to us. I mean, how many times can you pick out a gift from your wedding forty-five years later and know who gave it to you? That’s how significant his gift was.”

Kirk’s earliest memories of Mister Goodloe go back much further. “I was just a kid when I rode over to Yancey in the pickup with my dad,” he says, “and while Dad would be dealing with Don and Goodloe and Guy Lites and Carl Friel, Mister Goodloe would walk me around the yard. It wasn’t just a relationship of buying a few machines at Yancey Bros. Co. My father thought so much of John Taylor that John was a pallbearer at his funeral.”

Kirk’s father’s company, Daniel & Daniel, did the grading work on some of Atlanta’s most important projects, including the airport terminal in the 1970s and major interstate work. Kirk believes those opportunities were possible because of guidance he received many years earlier.

“When Don Yancey came to Yancey Bros. Co.,” Kirk says, “he built a team that brought long-term stability to the operation—Guy Lites, Harry Hollomon, Carl Friel, and others. All these men were Southerners except for Carl, who came down from Caterpillar. Carl made my dad a better businessman. He advised my father, ‘You can’t live in a sea of ninety-day notes. You have to be able to take care of your accounts on a cash basis. You come in and buy an undercarriage and you pay for it over time. If you really want your business to succeed, you need to be able to take care of your accounts on a cash basis.’

“My father wasn’t a great businessman. He didn’t go to college. He was a B-17 pilot in World War II, then he started a grading business in his late thirties with three kids at home.

“The advice Carl Friel gave Dad probably cost Yancey money, because they did the financing. But he knew if he helped make customers like my father successful in the long term, then Yancey would be successful in the long term. I told him many years later at a Yancey barbecue, ‘Mr. Friel, you’ve not only been a friend to the Yanceys, you’ve been a friend to the Daniel family.’ ”

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