For Weathers, business is ‘like coming home’

Published 4:13 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

When Wayne Weathers left what was then known as Alabaster Auto Service off First Street Southwest in 1997, he had no idea he would be back many years later.

Weathers spent about 16 years at the automotive repair and maintenance business from 1981-1997 before leaving to take a job with the Big 10 Tire company.

During his time with Big 10, Weathers developed a friendship and a “friendly business rivalry” with Ricky Tidmore, who also worked in the tire business.

Today, Weathers and Tidmore work under the same roof managing Alabaster Auto Service, which was renamed Alabaster Express Tire in 2011.

“I have spent about half my career in this building,” Weathers said with a laugh. “It’s a nice facility and a nice place to do business.”

Weathers’ and Tidmore’s past together goes back many years. Weathers said his son once worked for Tidmore in the 1980s, and used one of the family’s cars to travel to a Thompson High School prom.

“My son actually borrowed his wife’s Camaro to take to prom one year,” Weathers said. “My son polished and washed that thing for days before the prom. Ricky told me he had never seen it shine like that before.

“Now, Ricky and I work together,” Weathers added.

The building Weathers and Tidmore manage has been serving Alabaster’s auto repair and service needs since the 1970s, and got a major overhaul when it was rebranded last year, Weathers said.

“We’ve upgraded the equipment, the lifts, everything,” Weathers said, noting the store carries several national tire brands, such as Goodyear, Michelin and BF Goodrich. “We can do everything but exhaust.”

Over the past several months, the two men have reached out to several area organizations to offer them discounts on service at the business.

“We are local people and we are an independent, locally owned business. We try to be a part of our communities,” Weathers said, noting he coached youth football in Alabaster for several years. “We go to the Alabaster Senior Center pretty regularly and give them discount cards, and we regularly give discounts to bus drivers, teachers and people at our schools.”

The business is located near the intersection of First Avenue West and First Street Southwest, and is open from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays.

“I did the corporate world thing, and now I feel like I’m coming home,” Weathers said. “It’s a nice feeling.”