"He's very energetic, enthusiastic. He has a passion for what he does and it's very evident…. He's very proud about what he does, and he works hard," said Richard Buzhardt, who heads the Jamil Shriner Temple in Columbia, S.C., as its potentate. "Someone with a normal energy level probably wouldn't get done what he gets done."
"I'm 66 years old. That's why I drink coffee with four sugars, it keeps me going all day," Mr. Bradley joked with Tire Business, adding: "I like helping everybody. It makes no difference what race you are, it don't matter to me. And I love helping kids. That's my thing."
His daughter Tammy Coleman, who works in his dealership as the office manager, noted "there are Shriners in here all the time" to discuss fundraising plans with Mr. Bradley and the whole shop gets involved for months preparing for the annual Shrine Day parade, making the shop a hub of activity for both customers and Shrine business.
"We could call it the Ace Parker Tire Shrine Temple," quipped Ms. Coleman.
"I got the phone ringing and someone wants to see me, so I'm conducting business three ways. So I'm going this way and that way all the time. But I love it," Mr. Bradley said. "The Lord has been good to me. I've been blessed. I've been blessed with good people around me."
"He's got a heart about the size of his body…," said Sammy Way, The Item newspaper archivist and historian who has known Mr. Bradley for more than 50 years.
"It's not a surprise that he gets involved in lots of community activities because he really thinks more of service than he does of himself. And that's the kind of thing that's always impressed me is that he is willing to give and he asks for nothing."
Not only has Mr. Bradley been praised for his humanitarianism but also for his leadership skills and the talent for recruiting others to get involved in a cause.
"He includes you, whether you know it or not, you're being included… but he does it in such a way that you do it willingly and because you want to be a part of it, because the way he explains it is it's good stuff, it's good for a lot of people and its going to help somebody and it will make a difference," Mr. Way said.
"Got a problem? He finds someone to help you if he can't…there aren't many people like that. That's one of the reasons people gather around him and they flock to him is because you feel comfortable that something good will happen. You feed off his intensity. He wants to get it done, so you want to go with him."
Mr. Way also praised Mr. Bradley for leading by example.
"There are those that lead from behind. Well, you don't have to look for Arthur because you know where he is. He's the one trying to organize and you see how intense and how committed he is to what he's doing and you can't help but want to be a part of it," he said.
He also is a bit of a showman — not only does he drive in a Shriner mini-car in parades and, until recently, raced a stock car for charity events, he also is an Elvis impersonator and recently performed for a Shriner fundraiser.
'I love a parade'
Most of Mr. Bradley's philanthropy revolves around his involvement in the Shriners, which he joined in 2002.