Unlike some men who reach each day for a crisp shirt and tie, his work wardrobe consists mostly of ball caps and comfortable brown coveralls that don't show dirt.
His specialty isn't necessarily centered on spotted dairy cows or juicy summer tomatoes, but something far less expected: Tyler roses.
"My dad grew roses," said Goldwater, 74. "I went to work at an early age; I grew up in the fields."
His expertise in horticulture is a family tradition and one that Tyler, as the Rose Capital, seems proud to claim as its own - through rose logos, names and festivities, including the glamorous Texas Rose Festival.
But behind all the sweet romanticism is a hard-working, multi-million dollar industry that prides itself on feeding America's desire for beautiful blooms.
Tyler may be known for roses, but it is folks such as Goldwater who roll up their sleeves every day that keep the city's image true to its reputation.
"This (company) represents what the business in Tyler is now," Goldwater said. "It's a changing industry. I used to grow a million roses, but I don't grow them anymore. The rose industry is alive and well - we've just transferred from growing to distributing."
The company's main offices can be found at 14714 Texas Highway 64 West.
Goldwater said his transition from grower to distributor did not unfold because roses are falling out of favor with customers. It's mostly because East Texas weather can be wicked, creating challenges in growing consistency and quality.
In the 1930s, Tyler was prime peach country, but after disease wiped out a sizeable number of fruit trees, many farmers switched to growing roses.
Locals began celebrating the new industry, organizing the Tyler Rose Festival in 1933, adopting the rose as its own.
Situated in a state known for cattle, cotton and oil, the rose festival attracted such widespread interest the name was later changed to Texas Rose Festival.
Eventually, many rose growers became frustrated with finicky weather conditions that prevail in East Texas and opted for change.
"There used to be about 150 growers here (in Tyler), but there are less than 10 now who actually grow," Goldwater said.
In spite of the shift, the Tyler area retains a heavy presence in the industry, processing and shipping millions of plants annually, according to Texas A&M University.
"About 75 percent of the garden roses in the U.S. find their way through Tyler and are distributed throughout the U.S.," Goldwater said.
Most of the nation's roses are grown in Arizona and then shipped elsewhere, many to Tyler.
Goldwater buys bare-rooted plants from suppliers in drier states, packages them and distributes them for sale in garden centers across the United States.
In this mobile society, it's not uncommon for Lone Star to receive bare-rooted roses from Arizona, package them and ship them back to Arizona, the nurseryman said with a grin.
"All of the roses that come through Tyler are very well traveled," he teased.
ROOTED IN ROSES
By some accounts, roses have been cultivated for ages, from 500 BC in Asian countries, records show.
Part of the rose's allure is likely its fragrance, which originates in certain oils in the petals.
Roses come in different types, such as older heirloom varieties and hybrid teas that feature variations in shape, disease resistance and color, one expert said.
There are climbing roses, miniature roses, groundcovers and bushy shrub varieties.
And many types are named after notable figures, events, attitudes and personalities: John F. Kennedy, Abe Lincoln, Lady Bird Johnson, Agatha Christie, Cardinal de Richelieu and the Fourth of July.
Individual rose bushes can range in retail price from about $6 to $15 each, dependent mostly on size, variety and store pricing.
Tyler economic development and tourism experts said the public's adoration for the rose is good for business.
Tom Mullins, Tyler Economic Development Council president and CEO, said the local rose industry helps in three key areas: branding, tourists and economic development.
"A lot of cities struggle for a brand, but we already have one that's natural," he said. "Some people are very aware of it because they've heard of Tyler as the Rose Capital and some, if they are football fans, who know of NFL Hall of Fame running back, the 'Tyler Rose,' Earl Campbell."
Shari Rickman, Tyler Convention and Visitors Bureau vice president and general manager, said the rose industry is a huge tourist draw.
"More than 108,000 visitors came into the Tyler area during rose season last year," she said. "The economic impact for 2011 during rose season, which lasted about three weeks, was about $2,254,000. That's just in rose season, not all-year long."
For Goldwater, however, it's all about keeping people happy.
"I just want to make sure we provide a quality product," he said.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Rather than chance productivity on Mother Nature throughout the year, Goldwater purchases large quantities of bushes in late winter.
Plants arrive at his nursery bound in large, thorny stacks, sans the leaves.
At first glance, the groupings look more like dead shrubs than rose bushes, but that's because they are dormant and "asleep" for the winter.
The twiggy bundles are sorted, organized and stored until processing in a wet, dimly lit storage cooler, which is maintained at a constant 36 degrees to encourage dormancy.
Bushes are "graded" according to a system the American Association of Nurserymen created. The lower the number, the more stalks the plant contains, experts said.
On a recent visit, Lone Star's cold storage unit was temporarily housing about 100,000 plants, a fraction of the plants the nursery plans to process this season.
"Our business has been growing every year," said Goldwater, who was educated at Texas A&M University. "I remember when I didn't have a forklift - now we have five."
Lone Star Rose Nursery employs about 70 part-time workers and several more full-time employees.
Goldwater, a working manager, is familiar with every job, every task.
"I thought I would grow roses my whole life," he said. "Things just evolved."
Raul Castillo, who has worked for the company for 29 years, said he likes "everything" about his job.
He's responsible for helping trim bare-rooted plants, using a small band saw to remove excess growth.
"It's better for the plant to cut it short," Goldwater said. "It's horticulturally sound and better for the canes."
Freshly pruned bushes are dipped in a type of paraffin solution to seal the cuts and maintain moisture until they are shipped, purchased and planted.
Large conveyor belts move the sorted plants to a packing center where employees like Domitila Hernandez, a 16-year Lone Star employee, pack them in sawdust and ready them for shipping.
Other bushes are planted in containers.
Toward the end of this assembly line of hands is Ricky Pina, a 10-year employee, who is fiercely meticulous about his packing responsibilities.
Pina counts and organizes packaged rose bushes into large produce boxes that are prepared for shipment to U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart, Menards and HEB Food Stores.
Lone Star is the only vendor for roses sold in Menards' chain of about 260 stores, Goldwater said, noting, "We blanket the Midwest with our roses."
There are 190 bushes to a box in 24 different varieties.
Contents of each box appears identical, every label precisely positioned, every package perfectly aligned.
"I like the work," Pina said, making a few last-minute adjustments. "I just like everything."
Goldwater said the people who work for Lone Star always seem to figure out ways to streamline tasks, saving time and money.
"It's interesting to watch," he said. "This being a seasonal business, there's just some things that need to be done by hand rather than by machine."
The lion's share of the work is typically conducted between February and April to ensure that gardeners with a case of spring fever have a good selection of choices.
"During this time of year, we feel like we need to ship 100,000 a week to make our operations work," Goldwater said. "That's the goal."
It takes plenty of helping hands to keep things moving.
Goldwater's wife, Kathy Goldwater; daughter, Gwen Camp; son-in-law, Larry Camp; and granddaughter, Baily Camp, work at the nursery, alongside the many long-time employees.