Volume 11, Issue 4 - July/August 2009

Avocations
life beyond the auto glass business

 

Steer Crazy
Wes Walker, Glass Doctor

Most days, you’ll find Wes Walker, owner of a Glass Doctor franchise in Opelousas, La., running his auto glass business. Walker stays busy; along with his auto glass business, he runs a car wash and lube service. But ask Walker what steering means to him and you’ll get quite a different definition than the one you would expect. He ropes real steers two to three times per week.

This might seem like an unusual pastime to many, but for the 40-year-old glass shop owner, it’s been a part of his life for as long as he can remember.

“My father was in the horse business since before I was born, so I kind of grew up around it,” says the Louisiana native. He began participating in rodeos in 1984.

At the high point of his rodeo days, Walker would participate in 80 rodeos a year.

“Sometimes we would go to two or three in a weekend,” he recalls.

Today, he’s scaled back—at least by his calculations. Now, Walker participates throughout the year in a limited capacity. He also tries to stay closer to home these days, and his dad travels with him.

“It’s very addictive,” says Walker. “Once you get started doing it, you don’t stop.”

Walker “team ropes,” which means he pairs up with another roper and each participant ropes a different part of the steer—one the horns and one the legs.

Walker notes that the people he’s met via the rodeo is one of the best parts of the sport.

“Some of my best friends in the world come from the rodeo business,” he says. “I’ve met great guys from around the country.”

Though there are professional rodeo riders, Walker says part of the reason he scaled back on his events was to make time for business.

“The guys I rope with—we can’t take time off to go to a rodeo, because we all have careers and businesses,” Walker says.

Walker has been involved in the glass industry since college, when he started repairing windshields. He worked for another company for a year, before starting his own business in 1993 when he was a senior in college.

“I remember my advisor telling me I was crazy for doing this kind of work,” recalls Walker, who majored in business administration. In 2002, he purchased a Glass Doctor franchise.

Over the years, Walker has won various championships, including state and regional competitions. But in the end, the best part for him is the enjoyment of the sport.

“It’s my passion,” says Walker. “It’s what I’ve always done and it’s what I love to do.”

He adds, “The only thing I love almost that much is golf. It’s why I work.”


“It’s what
I’ve always done and it’s what
I love to do.”


FAST FACTS
Name: Wes Walker
Day Job: president and owner, Glass Doctor franchise
Location: Opelousas, La.
Alter Ego: Team Roper

 

AGRR
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