Burns Tire Service to close

May 26, 2014
Burns Tire Service will close at the end of the month. Pictured are Randy Burns, left, and his father, Walter “Buck” Burns. - Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – Burns Tire Service in Waynesburg, in business for 46 years, announced it will close at the end of this month.

The last day for the tire and repair shop, which called 350 S. Morris St. home for all but one year of its existence, will be Saturday, Walter “Buck” Burns, the owner, said.

The closing will be one day short of the company’s 46th year anniversary, Burns’ wife, Amanda Burns, pointed out. Amanda Burns worked at the shop alongside her husband since the business first opened June 1, 1968.

“Amanda and I are going to retire. I know I’ll regret doing this, but it’s time,” Buck Burns said. “I’ll regret not being here to provide service to the people; that’s what we’ve always been known for, our service.”

Burns was involved in the tire business a good part of his life, starting in high school, when he worked for McGlumphy’s tire recapping in Wind Ridge.

He took a different path after graduation, however, accepting a job with the Manufacturers Light and Heat Co., which later became part of Columbia Gas.

Burns worked for the gas company nearly 10 years, but after Harley McGlumphy, the owner of McGlumphy’s tire recapping shop, died, he bought McGlumphy’s retreading equipment and went into business for himself.

Burns first opened his shop on Strawberry Alley in Waynesburg. In addition to retreading tires, he started to sell Firestone tires, a brand he continues to sell today.

After about a year on Strawberry Alley, Burns purchased the building on South Morris Street that was formerly the Greene County Farm Cooperative Building.

In about 1976, he constructed a large addition onto the existing building and began providing vehicle repairs and service.

It was about then he quit the retreading business. At the time, he said, he was retreading about 120 tires a day.

Burns provides tires and service for farm tractors, trucks and passenger cars. The business, he said, “has been good to us.”

One of the major changes during the years in regard to the tire business, he said, is the quality of the product; the quality of tires increased dramatically.

Burns’ business was always a family affair. In addition to his wife, the business employs Burns’ son, Randy Burns. Randy Burns, who was with the company for 31 years and is service manager and co-partner, will also be moving on and accepted a job with a trucking company.

Other members of the family also worked at the business on and off over the years, Burns said.

Burns said he will remain busy in retirement, operating his farm near Rutan. He also will continue to serve as president of Richhill Agricultural Society, which sponsors the annual Jacktown Fair.

He has been president of the society for 27 years.

Burns, who will be 76 Wednesday, said he will miss the shop. “I’ll miss the people more than anything else,” he said. “They are not only customers, but friends.”

People would often stop in to chat.

One Burns remembers well is the late Greene County Commissioner John Gardner.

“He was here every morning,” Burns said. “He just liked to come in to visit with people. He was a good man.”

Not having a business to manage each day is certainly going to take some time to get used to, Burns said. “I’m sure I’m going to have trouble getting up in the morning and not coming in to Waynesburg,” he said.

Bob Niedbala worked as a general assignment reporter for the newspaper for 27 years in the Greene County bureau. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh.

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