Behka’s Tribute To A Sedalia Business Icon – Rini Goodman
I got some very sad news not very long ago. I thought I'd write something out to kind of... get my thoughts out, and maybe you can share some of yours.
Sadly, a long time business owner here in West Central Missouri has died. Rini Goodman, unfortunately, passed this last week. I'm sure a lot of you remember her from Auto Glass Express, and our daily call ins with the "Crazy Story of the Day". She and her husband Don have been retired for a few years, but... it wasn't that long ago. We did those calls for maybe... well, over ten years or so.
It's gonna be hard to write about this, because Rini meant so many things to so many different people. It was hard to find a photo of her, for example - she was so focused on everyone else, there were hardly any photos of just her! And when it came to work, people knew they could depend on her. Of course, she was the one people would call and ask to talk to when they got a rock chip. Rini would lament sometimes to me that she was so busy at the shop because everyone wanted to talk to her, and not an assistant! She was also instrumental in the huge AGE Youth Hunts they've held every year. So many parents probably got their children interested in hunting because of her. And of course, she was a reliable friend and a loving mother.... but let me just tell you one story.
My story with Rini.
So picture if you will, me as a young whipper snapper, fresh out of college. I had just gotten my own show on the country station, and I admittedly was stressed out. One of my bosses came to me after a while and told me I'd be doing a segment with Rini, and explained it to me. He said we'd be talking about a crazy story, and then we'd transition it to talking about the business, etc. The first story was supposed to be about a Deer Hunting revenge type thing where the animal fought back, but... Rini didn't find that super funny since it happened to someone she knew. So we found something else, no big deal.
And it continued that way, for years. Two to ten minutes a day, every day. It probably took about a year for Rini and I to really get used to each other, and when we did, it became super easy. We got into a rhythm and a natural rapport. In fact, I'd call to do our advert, and we'd probably spend more time just chatting then we did working. Now, we didn't always get along - she leaned more conservative and I have always been liberal - but she wasn't the type of person to hold that against anybody. So what if we didn't agree on everything? She still saw me, and listened to me, and understood that my experience and viewpoint wasn't her own. Fast forward to about six years later.
Not to make this about me, but...this really just shows you the kind of person Rini was. Well, she and her husband, Don, they did this together. It just shows you who people are, when they come through in the clinch, you know? So I was living in the Mark Twain apartment buildings on Grand, when they burned down. I had nothing. Well. Except what I had with me that day when I left for work - my phone, my laptop, and my car. Which is a lot more than some people have, but. I lost every piece of clothing I owned, every picture of my family, and my two cats. It was a bleak time.
So I had to take off at least a day or so to see if I could get my ducks in a row as to...what to do next. I got a call on my cell phone that morning from an unknown number. I wasn't sure what to think, but people had been calling me when they heard the news, so I picked up.
It was Rini.
She asked me where I was. I said I was at my sister's house. She told me to stay there. She then came over, I remember it clear as day. It was a warm morning and she came to our back door and handed me an envelope. We had never met before this day in person. She handed me the envelope, gave me a bone crushing hug, and told me that if I needed anything, to call her.
And then, she was gone, just like that. Back to the shop, can't leave the boys without help. I gave the envelope to my Dad (who was standing there with me when she came). He opened it, looked at me, and said, "There are good people in this world."
It was a check. A check that helped me get back on my feet, a check that wasn't really that much money but meant the world to me and my family. It was a rare occasion when my Dad got misty eyed.
There are good people in this world. Rini Goodman was one of them. Whether she was crowing about a Chiefs win, or offering me Morel Mushrooms (even though she knew I hated them), or trying to gross me out by making me help weigh the deer at the youth hunt, or telling me just one more story about her grandkids.... she was a good person. She will continue to have an impact through her descendants with the business, with the kindness and honesty she taught them.
And honesty - that was another huge thing Rini was a stickler for. She just couldn't stand the idea of dishonest business, and she would get So Hot Under the Collar when she heard of people being taken advantage of. I mean, lucky she's in the Good Place, or she'd be "kicking all kinds of ass" if they left her in charge of the other place.
So, the most I can do is share my memories of her. And in my memories, I can remember what was most important to her - family, friends, and Patrick Mahomes.