Born January 9, 1929, Mr. Grills started his business when he read in the want ads that someone wanted to swap a truck for a car. With the truck came a contract for a job with Jackson Industries. He was 16 years old.
Soon Mr. Grills was able to purchase another truck himself, and at the same time, A.A. Ringland of Jackson Industries convinced him to go back to school. So, he drove the truck at night and went to school during the day.
He was also courting Billie Joyce, whom he picked up for each date… in a dump truck. In 1950 she married him anyway. They went on to have two children, Vicki and Mickey.
Mr. Grills was elected President of the Alabama Road Builders Association in 1986. He could communicate with truck drivers and line workers as easily as he could the governor. As a matter of fact, it was this gift and a lot of hard work that helped get the truck weight bill passed.
He loved the game of golf, and there were plenty of broken clubs and hilarious stories about his game to prove it. At the same time he was president of the ARBA’s, he was also elected president of the Green Valley Country Club.
After 31 years, he sold the trucking company to his partner, and started R. E. Grills Construction, a road building company, which he ran successfully until his death in 1990.