Charlie Montgomery says the man who hired him gave him the best advice he ever received.
"Before I've made a decision," Fay Smith, former Thomson utilities superintendent said, "I ride down the road and think about it a little."
That advice served Montgomery well for 39 years, the retiring director of Thomson's wastewater plant, said at a reception held for him at city hall Friday.
"I think I've gone through four mayors, five city managers and six city clerks," he said.
Smith, who worked for the city a mere 35 years, had praise for Montgomery.
"He was very dedicated, always on time, a real loyal employee," Smith said.
Montgomery said he was very grateful for his 39 years with the city. But he's looking forward to retirement.
"I've got some antique cars," he said. "I'll work on them, probably mess around the house."
He said he also plans "to get into walking." After spending years in a job that kept him active, he doesn't want to get out of shape now.
And he plans to spend some time with his 3-year-old granddaughter Kaylee Montgomery in Guyton, Ga.
His son, Lee, and daughter-in-law, Rita, are also expecting another grandchild soon.
Montgomery and his wife, Penny, also have a daughter, Michelle Edmunds, who lives in Thomson.
Montgomery said he admired each of the mayors he worked for, but he said Bob Knox was especially helpful to him.
"The city of Thomson is just about my second family," he said.