When he was developing up in 1950s South Carolina, a youthful gentleman named Willie Hicks Sr. desired to be a medical doctor, but being a Black male there in these days, he identified that number of colleges ended up interested in schooling him, and that society had no curiosity in enabling him to practice medication.
So he headed north, to Syracuse, NY, exactly where he did what he was very good at: repairing vehicles, and racing them, far too. In the mid-1950s, he left New York condition and settled in Boston, the place he married his spouse Barbara, elevated a spouse and children, and acquired into a mend shop on Terrace Street in Mission Hill.
When the planned I-95 freeway undertaking was scheduled to plow by the place of their store (it ultimately did not), he remaining for Dorchester in 1970 and settled in the current area.
The Hicks family has now been undertaking enterprise underneath the Hicks Vehicle Human body title for extra than 50 several years at the nexus of Blue Hill Avenue, Talbot Avenue, and Harvard Avenue. They even have held the mobile phone range they obtained in 1970.
“I’m nervous, excited, and content,” explained Hicks Sr., 85, past Saturday afternoon when extra than 100 mates, family members, and business associates joined elected officials to honor the legacy small business and name the square in Hicks Sr.’s honor.
Nowadays, the organization is in the arms of Willie Hicks Jr. who is continuing the tradition. A standout football player at Concord-Carlisle Higher University and then at Boston Faculty, Hicks Jr. explained his father was the very best mentor and manager he could would like for.
“His desire was to become a medical doctor, but occasions ended up various then let us just say the Ivies may possibly not have been pursuing the finest expertise in the South,” he mentioned. “He experienced to improve his course…He experienced to do what most of us do in lifetime because it is not excellent he experienced to deal with the cards dealt to him.
“At the youthful age of 31, he bought this put, and considering that then we have been blessed to have the identical identify, the very same ownership, and the exact cellular phone amount and tackle,” reported Hicks Jr.
Metropolis Councillor Brian Worrell, who hosted the function, said” it’s awesome to have a Black-owned household business thriving into the 21st century on Blue Hill Avenue and an honor to be capable to rejoice a powerful, legacy business in our neighborhood.”
Mayor Wu and Financial Growth and Inclusion Main Segun Idowu mentioned that Hicks Car Overall body is the second company on Blue Hill Avenue to earn a new “legacy business” designation, the town obtaining honored Allan’s Formal Don before this calendar year.
“For a company to have been right here since 1970 and obtaining handed this on to the up coming generation and to display up day in and working day out…this is a blessing for all of us,” reported Wu. “We’re going to do almost everything we can to maintain companies in our neighborhood that provide and help families in our neighborhood for decades to arrive.”
Mentioned Hicks Jr. of his father right now: “It’s amazing mainly because I get to see him from sunup to sundown. … I go to function each day not like all people else since I would practically die for my manager. As the stating goes, ‘If you really do not seize your instant in time, background will history that you hardly ever lived at all.’”
Next the displays, the Hicks household and elected officers unveiled the new corner memorial sign that reads, “Willie E. Hicks Sr. Path.” It is found on the site visitors island where Talbot Avenue and Harvard Street fulfill.
Willie Hicks Jr., Barbara Hicks, and Willie Hicks Sr. sign up for Mayor Wu on Saturday at Hicks Car Body’s “legacy business’ celebration.
Willie Hicks Sr. reported he was “nervous, fired up, and happy” to be honored as a “legacy business” and to have with a corner memorial in his name.
Councilor Brian Worrell and Willie Hicks Sr. unveil the new corner sign proclaiming the place ‘Willie E. Hicks Sr. Path.’