There is absolutely no other reason Mick Woodwards is saying goodbye to Lakewood Rent-All after 30 years, other than he's "just done."
"Basically, that's all folks, I'm tired, it's time for me to move on, I'm worn-out; this type of work is for younger folks, I can't do it anymore, I'm ready to retire," said Woodwards. "Plus, I can't even remember the last time I actually got to enjoy a beautiful sunny day off. I have always thought, oh look, another nice California day outside that I didn't get to enjoy."
Well that won't be the case anymore after Feb. 18, which will be the last day of Lakewood Rent-All.
In the spirit of the Super Bowl on the horizon, when asked what he's going to be doing once he's retired on Feb. 19, Woodwards said people can find him riding his bike at his local park. "That's it, no retirement plans, no travel plans, I just want to ride my bike on days like today, and just be
retired," said Woodwards. Woodwards has been owner of Lakewood Rent-All since 1993, and took it over from a previous owner. The actual business itself has been in Lakewood since 1969, and it was originally called United Rent-All, part of a united chain, said Woodwards.
The business started off renting home and garden equipment, then moved to medical equipment at one point, but the bread and butter has been the party rentals, he said.
Woodwards said that he has tried selling the business for over a year, but has had no luck. On Feb. 5, Lakewood Rent-All will be having a liquidation sale of all things party rentals.
"I'm going to miss it for sure, but after 30 years, I have decided that I need to do something else," he said.
One thing for sure, said Woodwards, is that he wouldn't have made it this far had it not been for the community's support.
"I can't thank the community enough for their support all of these years," he said. "It's been great to be a part of this community [Lakewood], no other cities have the sense of community like Lakewood does. Lakewood is a city that really cares about itself. There's no residential blight, people take pride in their homes, the city has great employees that keep up the streets and the parks, and the people who live here care about Lakewood."
Woodwards, a resident of Cerritos, said he also takes pride in being a long-time Greater Lakewood Chamber of Commerce member. He also served as board director at one point in the last 10 years. "Being a part of the chamber got me involved in the community, more than I ever thought I would," he said. "The Chamber helped market my business name out in the community, people expect the Chamber to have a magic wand, but it doesn't, but it does get your name out there, it gets you involved in the community and with other business and people start to get to know you and your business, and that's how your business grows."
During the entire interview, Woodwards' office phone wouldn't stop ringing with orders for tables and chairs, and someone walked in for a propane refill.
"You have your slow days and days like this, when the phone doesn't stop ringing," he said. "This business has been my life for 30 years, but now it's time for me to say goodbye."
On Feb. 19th, Woodwards will be officially retired, but aside from riding his bike as much as he can, he said he's certain to continue volunteering to stay busy.
"Volunteering and being involved is who I am, so I don't think I'll stop doing all of that," he said. "For now, I'm just looking forward to being retired and riding my bike, and actually enjoying sunny days. When people ask me what I'm going to be doing now that I'm retired, I'll be doing a lot more of all of that, is what I tell them."