Work After Retirement

May 2019

Freddie Bonds at UGA StadiumRetirement was just the beginning for Freddie Bonds, janitor at USDA Athens. After a long career at the University of Georgia, Freddie retired, but didn't stay retired long. Within a year, not only did Freddie agree to go back to work at the University part-time, but also took a job with Four Seasons Environmental, Inc. Six years later, now a member of the FSE/The Milbourne Group, Freddie is happy with his "retirement."

"A classmate of mine asked me to come work for him at Four Seasons and that was one of the great things that happened to me after I retired," says Freddie. "To find a job and work with the people, I couldn't ask for anything more."

His excellent work ethic was noticed not only at Four Seasons, but also at the University of Georgia. Over 40 years, Freddie fulfilled many roles at UGA, including housekeeping and maintenance, but the one he is most amused by was his role as check man. "When I worked as a maintenance worker, for about 17 to 18 years, I also delivered payroll checks every Friday. They started to call me check man," Freddie laughs.

Unique jobs are a source of pride for Freddie. "I had the opportunity to do a lot of jobs. They'd say, 'give Freddie a call. Let's see what Freddie can do,'" Freddie explains.

One reoccurring job for Freddie is working at the stadium's Presidential Box Suite during football games. In addition to prepping the suites each Friday and cleaning up each Sunday, Freddie works each Saturday at the Suite. Through his 40 years, he has met many interesting people, including politicians, athletes and celebrities. In fact, Freddie notes, "I have met so many people up there that I wouldn't have gotten to meet if I hadn't worked up there." When asked who is his favorite, Freddie replies, "I couldn't pick one. It wouldn't be fair to the others."

One person of note, however, is Herschel Walker, three-time All-American UGA football player and 1982 Heisman trophy winner, who later played in the NFL for over a decade. Freddie not only got to watch Herschel play from the Presidential Suite, but he met Herschel in 1980, plus numerous times since then. "Over the years, he'd come to the box," Freddie explains, "and every time he comes up, I ask if I can get my picture. I have so many pictures.

In his free time, Freddie loves to barbecue. His favorite meals to make are barbecue ribs and chicken, as well as fried ribs. "I'm a good cook in the kitchen too," Freddie says. "I can make a Thanksgiving dinner with the dressing, mac 'n' cheese and turkey."

Freddie Bonds and Herschel Walker

Freddie Bonds with Thomas Davis