This is not a story about Spinx, the 50-year-old gas station and convenient store business with 80 locations and more than 1,400 employees spread across the state of South Carolina.
Rather, it is a story about Spinks, first name Stewart, the young man who spent summers during college living in a trailer park in Anderson.
Back then, in the late 1960s, Spinks spent 12 hours a day, seven days a week laboring as an iron worker for Daniel Construction, all so he could save up enough money to start a life with his college sweetheart Martha in the coming fall.
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“I made $3.60 an hour — big money back then,” Spinks said. “Never did I spend any of it that summer. I put it all in the bank before I got married.”
Granted, he was too busy to see his betrothed, instead spending all his time with the burley iron workers, sharing a small spot in a trailer with three other men. He was young and not sure what his future held. All he knew was that he was in love and wanted to make something of his life.
Some years later, at the ripe old age of 26, Spinks was well on his way, working for Shell Oil and overseeing standards at 10 locations in the Greenville area.
But that old work ethic left him feeling restless, so without telling his wife, he purchased a gas station of his own on Pendleton Street.
“I pretty much waited until my Shell paychecks stopped showing up,” he said. “Then after a couple weeks, I mustered up the nerve to tell Martha I’d resigned.”
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“She told me, ‘No problem.’ Of course now, you realize we had a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, all living in an apartment. It was somewhat of a problem. But that’s what she said to me,” Spinks said.
Now, after 50 years, that gas station business — and more importantly to Spinks, that marriage — has remained a strong as ever.