After more than 20 years of sending other families off on vacations, Ken and Carolyn Goodnight are finally planning some of their own.
The Goodnights, who own California RV Rentals on North Ninth Street in Modesto, are “hanging up the spurs,” as Ken put it.
“My wife and I are both pushing 71 years old,” he said. “We’ve been doing this for a while, and it’s pretty labor-intensive. Before summer really gets going again, we thought it might be time to retire.”
Though the business has been arduous – Goodnight said it was open 6½ days a week – it also has been rewarding.
“Some of our customers, we’ve watched their children grow up from toddlers to teenagers,” he said. “It’s been a great ride. It really has been. But it’s time to retire while we both have our good health. When you’re getting to 71, the odds are tilting more and more in favor of the house all the time.”
In addition to renting recreational vehicles to vacationing families, the Goodnights also provided Penske moving trucks and Hertz cars. But it’s the summer RVing families they remember most.
“You sit here and everybody comes back, saying, ‘We had such a great time,’ ” Goodnight said. “We started wishing we were there, too.”
Now they will have the chance to go. Of course, I had to ask: Where’s the first trip?
“Out the front gate of this business,” Goodnight said, laughing. Then, the couple, married 51 years, will head to the ocean for a bit.
“We’ve got a trailer, and we will sit on the beach, watch the sunsets with a glass of wine, and just sit back and do nothing.”
Sounds like the perfect trip to me.
For customers who would like to stop by and say goodbye, there’s still a chance.
“Our official last day is (Monday),” Goodnight said. “But we’ll be around for a few days, cleaning up and clearing out.”
Happy trails, Ken and Carolyn.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat
• If you’re a fan of coffee (like most journalists), McDonald’s would like to invite you in for a free cup. The fast-food chain will be offering customers a free small coffee, no purchase required, at locations including those in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, during the hours breakfast is served from Monday through April 13.
• A couple of people have noticed that Extreme Pita has closed its doors on McHenry Avenue near Barnes and Noble, effective March 12.
I couldn’t reach the owner. The telephone for the restaurant has been disconnected, and it is no longer listed as a location on the Extreme Pita website.