Bobby Goodson is the forester who owned the logging company that the Discovery Channel show “Swamp Loggers” focused on. An entrepreneur and reality TV star, there is a lot more to Goodson than meets the eye. He has admitted to having a sordid past, steeped in drugs, violence, and alcohol, but claims to have turned over a new leaf. His wife Lori has complete faith in his transformation, having experienced him in all his worst moments. It took a near-tragic event to trigger his change as his family never saw fit to intervene, despite the potentially fatal prospects of his relationships.
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Early Life and Family
Bobby Goodson was born in 1964 in North Carolina, USA, to Marvin “Bobby” and Cathy “Jo” Mobely Goodson. He has a brother, Michael, who still accompanies him in the logging business, and a sister Ashley Goodson who has married Chris Wells. Bobby was already participating in the logging business at the age of 11, an inevitable fate for a fourth-generation logger. Perhaps it was working amongst the loggers that allowed him to grow comfortable around older people, and led to him falling in with a group of older kids at school.
Spending time with the older children turned out to be detrimental, the partying and alcohol abuse impacting him significantly, to the extent that he would show up to drunk at school when he was still in fifth grade. Bobby told CBN that “Looking back over my life, I couldn’t remember a day that I went without getting high or drinking or some type of drug.” Already leading a far from conventional childhood, Goodson had already dated an entire plethora of girls by the time he met Lori when they were 13.
Although they did not immediately start dating, it was only a matter of time, when they were 14, but their relationship was far from healthy.
They both had volatile and violent personalities, and couldn’t restrain their displeasure and anger with one another. Bobby admits that he would carefully pick his words, choosing whichever ones would hurt her the most – essentially constituting verbal abuse. He was also physically abusive, and it took an emotional toll on Lori, who would stay in bed for days at a time. Despite any misgivings, the two had their first child when they were only 16.
Despite the disruption that drugs and alcohol had on his school career, not to mention becoming a father at 16, he still managed to matriculate, with marks sufficient for him to enroll in Chowan College, from where he graduated with a degree in graphic communication.
However, the degree couldn’t give him the same satisfaction as logging, and he returned to the family business to continue the family tradition.
After finishing college, Bobby went to work for his father in the logging industry. However, he decided that he wanted to make a name for himself and his family, and founded Goodson’s All Terrain Logging Inc in 1986, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, aiming to deliver quality and efficiency. While many people are predisposed to resent loggers for what they believe is the destruction of the environment, logging is an essential part of the economy. However, Goodson’s All Terrain Logging didn’t rely solely on this narrative, and utilized a shoveling technique that is more environmentally friendly.
Discovery has a flair for shining light on unusual but essential vocations, and the characters and families behind them. This was no different when it came to Goodson’s All Terrain Loggers. Pilgrim Films approached the company in the interest of creating a docuseries that would shine a light on the logging industry. The result was “Swamp Loggers”, which premiered on the Discovery Channel on 15 June 2006.
The show followed the apparent drudgery of logging, and the seemingly endless flow of adversities. Most companies requiring wood utilize commercialized companies, which makes it much harder for smaller companies like Bobby’s to succeed.
The 16 people crew must hustle to meet their quota each week, and overcome issues such as bad weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, transport issues, and unreliable customers.
The show was filmed in Pendor County and the surrounding woods, but was short-lived, ultimately running for only four seasons, airing for the last time on 10 January 2012. This didn’t dent the show’s popularity, and it’s frequently rerun on Quest in Ireland, in the US and the UK.
After having their son Justin. Lori and Bobby finally tied the knot five years later in 1985 when they were 21. Even then, the violent dynamic in their relationship hadn’t improved, and family members were concerned that the marriage would only exacerbate the problem.
Yet, instead of proffering advice or intervening, bets were placed – Bobby later found out that his brother Michael was betting that he would murder his wife Lori within a year.
A near-fatal encounter forced Bobby Goodson to re-evaluate his life choices. After coming home drunk one night, Bobby and Lori go into a fight. This wasn’t unusual, but it escalated faster than normal, and Bobby had Lori pinned to the wall with his hands around her throat. Bobby would have killed her if the phone hadn’t rung. Lori recounts that “I can remember him just letting me go and I fell on the back of that bed and it broke it. He answered the phone like there was nothing going on. And he looked down at me and he said, ‘It’s your dad.’”
The next morning Bobby awoke to a tumultuous and chaotic house, and allegedly no recollection of the incident. However, this was the stimulus he needed to reform his life. Realizing that he had almost become a murderer, he marched himself down and dedicated his life to the Church.
Whether by supernatural intervention, or the cathartic effects of prayer, Bobby was able to turn his life around. Abandoning his culture of drugs and alcohol, he and Lori were baptized. Today, he, Lori and their children Brittany and Justin, all remain religious. Both his children are married, Justin to Bethany, and Brittany to an undisclosed man. Goodson is incredibly proud of his children and his grandchildren, and is focusing his efforts on perpetuating his lifestyle and maintaining the family business.
Although his vital statistics are unknown, Bobby Goodson is a large, broad-shouldered man with grey hair and stubble, brown eyes and open and genuine features. Despite his age, he remains healthy and strong by all appearances.
Net Worth and Salary
Goodson’s All Terrain Logging harvests and transports over 92 truckloads of wood every week, which is then used in the local paper mills. His income predominantly comes from his logging business, in which his brother Michael and son Justin also work. The logging business is infinitely more lucrative than anticipated, which is logical when considering the manual labor required. As of mid-2020, Bobby Goodson has a net worth estimated at over $3 million.