Working past the retirement age is not for everyone and stopping any time after it is not a remote possibility for a 95-year-old Camden man working in the oil and grease sales industry.
“I worked seven days a week all my life,” said Ron Jones. “I love it.”
Ron has been selling oil products for the past 61 years to farms, logging companies, transportation departments, auto shops and many other businesses across Central New York.
When he was 90, his former employer told him he was “too old” to still be working.
Immediately after he was let go, Central Petroleum Company (Cen-Pe-Co) scooped up the star salesman.
In the move, Ron brought more than 130 clients with him.
Every month, he continues to rank among the top Cen-Pe-Co salesmen nationwide.
Ron now has more than 240 clients who have become like close friends, generation after generation.
Camden Collision is one of Ron’s longest running clients.
“To know that you have somebody that you can trust in and always know he’s there when you need product and he’s never me down before,” said John Gerber, president of Camden Collision. “In return, he’s always came here and always allowed us to service his vehicle when he needed it.”
Ron travels hundreds of miles a week making his sales calls. He does not have a cell phone or the Internet, and he does not use email. He uses an order pad and gets other orders from clients through his landline or at-home fax machine.
From time to time, his wife of 48 years, Tina, will take messages when he’s on the road.
Keeping up with Ron is tough, especially when he gets behind the wheel of his coveted car.
If you see or hear a Dodge Charger revving up somewhere in Central New York — it could be Ron. All you have to do is check the plate for “747 Ron.”
The “slick” oil salesman’s success stems from his work ethic and the fact that he never stops selling.
Recently, Ron was seen networking at his own 95th birthday party.
“You know what? I sold $5,600 the day of the party,” Ron shared. “I’m motivated before I get up in the morning. At 3 in the morning, I’m thinking, who am I going to sell to?”
On Ron’s first day on the job, he sold $3,000 worth of oil and grease products within a few hours and this was after he woke up at 4 a.m. to milk the cows on his then-family dairy farm.
Ron credits his longevity to his health choices early in life. He says he has never smoked a cigarette and he does not drink alcohol, and as a former dairy farmer, he firmly believes drinking milk has made a difference.
When he’s not racking up his sales record, Ron enjoys driving his four-wheeler as fast as he can, gardening, riding his Ski-Doo and taking cross-country trips.
Some road trip adventures with wife Tina have taken the two to places like Montana and Canada to hunt big game. As an accomplished marksman, Ron is proud to show visitors how many times he has hit a bullseye from three-quarters of a mile away.
Ron’s active lifestyle and success as a salesman has not gone unnoticed.
“His nickname around here is the “fastest man in the land” because nobody does anything faster than him,” Ron said. “He’s just a well-rounded person that’s done so much for 95 years. It’s just amazing.”
So, we had to ask, why does he keep working?
Ron told us, ” I just like people. I like you. I like him. I like people.”
During the interview for NewsChannel 9’s story, we found out, people like Ron too.