Wes McMullen has been in the business of repairing cars for more than 45 years.
He recently announced his retirement from Larry's Auto Body in Fort Morgan, CO, where he's worked for three decades and fixed more than 7,400 cars. McMullen's family members and co-workers held a surprise party at the Jaycee building on June 23 in Brush to celebrate his long and remarkable career.
"I've worked for Larry for over 30 years, although I've been in the industry for 45 years," he said. "I worked for another shop for a few years prior, but most of my career has been here with this company."
When asked about the highlights of his career, he explained that the feeling of rebuilding a car from start to finish is "second-to-none."
"The satisfaction of working on a car from start to finish is what excites me the most," he said. "I never really felt like it was work. If you want to be good at something, you have to have a passion for that thing---you have to really enjoy it. I can tell you that there was never a day that I woke up and didn't want to go to work."
McMullen resides in Brush, although he's originally from Geneva, NE. He attended college at Milford Technical College, now called Southeast Community College. After graduating, he worked on cars in Lincoln, NE, for a few years before making the move to Brush in 1976.
He explained that one morning four decades ago, he was reading the Lincoln Journal Star when he came across an advertisement for a job opening at a Ford dealership in Brush. Although he didn't know anything about the town at the time, he packed his bags to begin a new career.
"I worked at the Ford dealership for less than a year, and their business trickled off to nothing," he said. "At that time, I had a 6-month-old baby to take care of, so I had to get up and do something to make ends meet."