'I don't see any fun in retiring': One of Milwaukee's oldest businesses serving customers since 1966

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --This Black History Month we're shining a light on Black leaders, activists, and business owners.

One of the oldest Black-owned businesses is on Milwaukee's north side. "Adams Auto Body Shop" opened its doors more than 50 years ago. 

At the corner of Center and 5th street, you'll find a blue marker honoring 84-year-old Cleotha Adams. He is the owner of Adams Auto Body Shop. 

"I don't know when I am going to retire. I don't see any fun in retiring. I have more fun down here mingling with the group."

"So it seems like you would be completely bored if you would not be at the shop," CBS 58's Reporter Winnie Dortch asks. "Exactly," Adams said. 

The shop has served Milwaukeeans for 56 years and shows no sign of slowing down. The sign was his daughter's idea. She wrote to the city about her father's accomplishments.

"They said why not, so they made the sign and put them up. We haven't really had a chance to celebrate that, so one of these days we're going to celebrate that.

The Mississippian stopped in Kansas City to learn car body work. He made his way to Milwaukee in 1959, training and giving people advice ever since.

"They come in, they know a little something, but they don't know enough to make it real nice," Adams said.

So what is it about this job that keeps Adams going?

"As we say, take a wreck and make it whole again, that's the joy I get out of it."

To anyone who plans to own their own business, Adams is offering this one tip.

"Treat people fairly and treat them right. That will keep you in business when nothing else will."





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