“It’s time” to retire, CAEC longtime employee says

Published 12:35 pm Monday, July 17, 2017


Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) is bidding a happy farewell to 61-year-old Carl Mims, who is retiring after 37 years with the company.

“It’s time,” Mims said. “And it’s time to move on,” he said, “and give somebody else the opportunity I’ve had.”

Mims is currently West Operation Manager for CAEC, but will conclude his work with the company July 19. A culminated, almost 10-month paid leave will ease Mims into retired life, which will officially begin May 15, 2018.

“Every man ought to be able to retire,” Mims, who had 12 siblings growing up, recalled his father’s words spoken to him as a young boy. “And when he got up in the morning, he would not have to go somewhere and have somebody else tell (him) what to do. He should have that ability to do that.”

With his last day of work nearly here, Mims has been planning ways to spend his retirement.

“We actually build houses and sell houses on the side,” Mims said, explaining that he will continue the five-year-old business with his wife. “But we’ve got some plans to travel.”

Mims said they hope to visit Alaska and experience sights “out west” including Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. His wife particularly hopes to visit San Diego.

Mims also looks forward to spending time with his kids and grandkids.

Mims first began his work with CAEC Feb. 1, 1975, almost a year after graduating from Isabella High School.

“I like being outside,” Mims said, “and when I was younger, I didn’t like to feel like I wanted to be tied to a desk—I want to be outside doing something. I like to see things happen.”

Mims said, “I started cutting right of way in 1975. That is clearing trees under the power lines.”

He continued, “We actually used chainsaws and bush axes to cut right of way on the power lines at that time in 1975.”

He worked 12 years with CAEC before switching in 1987 to a family business creating and selling wall décor. After three years, Mims reentered line work for two years as a foreman for Petty Line Construction of Clanton before returning to CAEC when a general lineman position opened in 1992.

“March 31, 1992,” Mims recalled his return date with a smile, “I know exactly when it was.”

Mims has been West Operation Manager since October 2002.

“Probably the best part,” Mims said of his work, “is helping people get power back on. I like helping people, and I feel like that we’re helping someone get something by getting electricity to their house.”

CAEC is a non-profit Touchstone Energy Cooperative serving more than 42,000 meters across 10 counties