Joiner retires from 48 years of service to Shelby County

When Solon Joiner was a small child, he hid under his bed when he heard the roar of the bulldozer coming down the road he lived on in rural Shelby County.

Now, after working with that same heavy equipment for some 48 years, he admits he loves it.

Joiner, who has worked for the county since he was 17 years old, is retiring at the end of the month.

&uot;I’m looking forward to it,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s time.&uot;

Joiner went to work for Shelby County in 1954, just after completing the seventh grade.

&uot;My daddy died, and I had to quit so I could help the family. I immediately went to work for the county,&uot; he said.

In those days, the county consisted mostly of dirt roads that were graded once a year.

&uot;When I went to work, the engineer sent a taxi after me,&uot; he said. &uot;They were very in need of people to work.

&uot;Highway 280 and (Highway) 31 were there, and they were grading on County 26 when I started. Highways 29 and 14 were dirt,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s changed so much for the better.

&uot;I can even get to my house now before summer,&uot; he said with a smile.

Joiner has worked in various departments with the county through the years including the Highway Department, the Landfill and currently, the Utilities Department.

&uot;I’ve done a little bit of everything, I think,&uot; he said.

Because of that, Joiner said he will not slow down.

&uot;I don’t believe when you retire you want to stay at home and worry your wife,&uot; he said.

Joiner has his own business, Joiner Grading, that will keep him busy, he said.

&uot;A very, very good friend of mine, Anthony Joseph, said ‘you will not go home and sit down.’ He plans to keep me busy,&uot; Joiner said.

Joiner said his wife of 30 years, Rebecca, has plans for him as well.

&uot;I think she’s looking forward to it (retirement),&uot; Joiner said. &uot;If we want to take a vacation or go somewhere, now, we’ll just go. After all, we haven’t been on one since 1994.&uot;