Ron Shirley and Bobby Brantley are frequently in the spotlight on truTVs Lizard Lick Towing, repoing cars and taking the heat for their chosen profession. But, without Amy Shirley keeping things running back at the office and at home, Ron and Bobby would likely find themselves surrounded by uncontrollable chaos instead of cars.
Fans of Lizard Lick Towing will recognize Amy as the not-to-be-pushed-around wife of Ron Shirley, as well as co-owner/vice-president of their favorite towing company. If you wind up “getting’ licked,” don’t think you’re just going to march into that office and get your car without going through Amy first. It’s easy to understand after watching Amy deal with a few out-of-control customers just how she got her nickname as a world-class powerlifter—“Firecracker.” But, is that little town of Lizard Lick, North Carolina, really as busy as it seems on television?
“It is very busy,” Amy confirms. “We have our own lot merchandise shop that sits right there. So, people love to come and take pictures, see if Lizard Lick is real. You know, we’ve been in business for 20 years. So, not only are we getting traffic from the television show, we’re also getting traffic from our day-to-day business Monday thru Friday. Now, we’ve got a lot of foot traffic going through there, and I stress ‘foot traffic,’ ‘cause they’re usually coming to pick something up.”
As important as the business is to her, Amy’s highest priority is her family with husband Ron—which is why fans never see her kids on the TV screen.
“I’m one of those overprotective parents. … I will allow everyone to know that I do have a family, so not only am I a full-time mom, and I work at Lizard Lick Towing, I do MMA fights and hunt a lot. … Basically, I just want to keep my kids out of society’s spotlight right now just because you never know what’s gonna happen day-to-day. You don’t know who you come in contact with on certain days, and I’m always scared that something is going to happen to one of my kids. And, if something was to happen to one of my kids because I am on TV, I would feel like I failed them. So, I do what I can to protect my kids.”
But, do the kids want to be on TV?
“You know, they don’t really care. That’s the good thing about my kids—they hang in there like a hair on a biscuit.”
So, is this full-time business woman and mom still regularly involved with MMA?
“I still train,” she confirms. Recently, however, Amy has been taking a leave of absence from MMA and training, after having a fractured foot and fractured wrist, both on the right side. “I was walking around in two casts, so it looked like I was in a car accident, and I said, ‘Well, I wish I could give y’all this great story, but I was rolling around on the mat and the girl just crushed me, pretty much,’” she said, a bit of a self-deprecating laugh in her voice.
And, if her own daughters want to get into MMA?
“You know what? I support my kids in anything they want to do. I’ll stand behind them as long as it ain’t nothing illegal and it’s nothing that goes against my religious beliefs. I support my kids in whatever they want to do, whatever avenues they choose to take in life.”
Fans of the show are aware of how important faith is to the Shirleys. But, as Amy explains, preaching is something you will never see on Lizard Lick Towing. Instead, the Shirleys choose to live their faith daily, on camera and off.
“It’s not that I keep it separate,” she explained, “it’s just that with society, there’s so many people that have different beliefs. And, as a Christian, I feel that sometimes you lead by example. You don’t breathe fire and brimstone down somebody’s throat to get them to walk a certain life, because a lot of people don’t accept that. So, what I do is, I add little things you’ll see in the show, like Bible verses on the white boards; you’ll see Ronnie’s Obadiah or his Romans shirts.”
And, what does she have to say to those who might see her sometimes-explosive temper as running counter to her daily intention to “lead by example?”
“The only time you’ll ever see me get upset with someone is normally in self-defense,” Amy says. “I don’t go out looking to fight, I don’t go out trying to fight. But, I promise you, I’m not going to let someone walk on me as a doormat, either. Even in the Bible, Jesus became angered and crushed the pillars in the temple. So, honestly, what I do, is that I just love people, and I just set an example, and hope that they understand, you know, Christians are gonna fail. We’re gonna make mistakes. We’re humans. We’re not perfect.
“Ronnie’s life verse is John 16:33,” Amy continued. “’In this world you will have trials and tribulations, but take heart, Jesus overcame the world.’ And, the reason that he loves that life verse so much is because that it doesn’t matter what happens to you in life. Everybody’s gonna have trials, Everybody’s gonna have tribulations. It’s how you react to those trials and tribulations that sets you apart from the rest. And, you’re light will shine out on others that way.”
With so much on her plate, Amy confirms that work goes on around the clock, whether she is in Lizard Lick mode or mom/wife mode.
“You don’t never EVER leave work. When it ain’t on at Lizard Lick, then you’re on at home. When you’ve got four kids you don’t stop. You are constantly doing something, from football to computers to let’s go to Frankie’s. So, I’m always out there.”
And, when it’s all said and done, Amy says she and the gang at Lizard Lick Towing are just your everyday neighbors next door.
“I think sometimes that people don’t understand, we’re probably one of the most reachable reality TV stars on TV. Because people see me all the time and I’ll be in Target or Wal-Mart and they’ll be like, ‘You’re here!’ Yeah, we’re real, we’re not cartoons! We are who we are, we’re average everyday people, just working, just like everybody else. We fit into society, just like everybody else. The only difference is we’ve got a little TV show. Bobby looks like the redneck Tom Cruise, and me and Ronnie look like the redneck Kardashians,” she laughs.
Amy, Ronnie, Bobby and the whole Lizard Lick Towing gang will be back in action tonight, Monday, August 6, on truTV, with a brand-new episode beginning at 10 p.m.