A welcomed respite from the busy days of a hectic life — made possible by the daily visits from a close friend — has ended for Cleveland businessman and entrepreneur Allan Jones. But, the …
A welcomed respite from the busy days of a hectic life — made possible by the daily visits from a close friend — has ended for Cleveland businessman and entrepreneur Allan Jones.
But, the successful executive will always treasure the memories of his confidant from over five decades of friendship.
This comes from an interview regarding the passing of Cleveland "character" Paul E. Goins who died of an apparent heart attack Thursday morning, while maintaining the Bradley County Veterans Cemetery with his brother, Robert "Bullet" Goins.
The Goins brothers, neither a veteran, have provided upkeep for the cemetery for 22 years, in the memory of their father, a U.S. Army veteran who is buried in the cemetery.
Jones has a wealth of memories of Paul Goins. It was Jones many years ago who provided Goins with his familiar nickname, "The Toboggan Kid."
"I met Paul in the fall of 1963," said Jones. "He was 13 and I was 10, so we regarded him as 'older.'
"The kids in our neighborhood played football in Jim Gibson's yard, and everyday an older kid would come by 21st St. N.W. at exactly 4:30 p.m. on an Allstate Sears moped. He wore a green toboggan, no matter how hot it was, year round.
"We started calling him 'The Toboggan Kid.' One day I stopped him and talked with him. I discovered he was a bit slow, but he had a big smile and I was glad I had stopped him. After that, when he passed, we'd yell 'Toboggan Kid,', and he'd smile and wave.
"Much later in life, I would see him around town on a bicycle, but never talked with him," Jones continued.
"When I purchased The Village in 1998, he came and visited. He asked if I remembered stopping him on his moped in the 1960s, and I surprised him when I recited word-for-word our conversation from 57 years earlier."
Jones said Paul began stopping by The Village a couple of times a week, hoping to get a hello.
"He would just sit there, on the bench outside my office, and sometimes sleep," added Jones.
And, he continued with his mowing of the Veterans Cemetery, with his brother Robert.
Jones said Paul's visits were a welcomed break from his hectic world of business.
"People know me because I've been successful, and I've made money," Jones said. "But Paul, Robert and their father had a three-man team that made contributions to the community in special ways," emphasized Jones. "The brothers don't have any money, but they've mowed the grass at the Veterans Cemetery for 22 years, without any compensation.
"Paul, in his own simple way, made a tremendous contribution to our community, for the same period of time I have owned The Village," continued Jones. "He grew up across the street from the Arnold football field, and the men of his family went to every single Cleveland High football game for 32 uninterrupted years. He saw all my games, from 1968 to 1972, and could recite the years I played. He also remembered all my teammates."
Paul and Robert have been regular contributors on the WOOP Radio broadcasts, with Frodaddy, joining in on conversations about local sports and athletes.
"Paul didn't want to be on the radio, but we finally got him talking," said Robert in a Friday interview.
Jones reflected on Paul's contribution to WOOP, but with some sadness.
"Wednesday, on my way home to Anatole, the Frodaddy Show was being broadcast, with Robert and Paul, since Frodaddy was on vacation," said Jones. "I realized Paul was very proud of 'The Toboggan Kid' nickname we gave him as kids, which he went by on the radio.
"On Wednesday, I heard him refer to himself as 'The Toboggan Kid' for the very last time."
In closing, Jones said his hectic days at the office were broken up when his staff would tell him, 'The Toboggan Kid' is outside.
"For a brief moment, my life would be slow and simple, like Paul's. Now, that welcomed break has ended," he added.
"You never know how you can affect a life," said Jones in conclusion. "I was affected by Paul being nice in 1963, and it has affected my life for the past 57 years."
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