Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beloved Car Doctors Finally Retire

Michael Reilly photo courtesy of the Daily News-Record
Our favorite car mechanic, Sonny Taylor, has finally retired after 35 years of operating Sonny's Servicenter, just up the street from us. Along with his good wife Eileen, who answered the phone and worked the cash register, they have come to our aid countless times with our frequently ailing vehicles.We're going to miss them a lot.

One of eight in his family, Sonny was one of the hardest workers I've ever known. I remember when he kept the station open from before 6 am to 8 or 9 at night on a regular basis, six days a week, plus operating his tow truck at all hours as needed. Over time he began to close somewhat earlier in the day, and eventually cut back to half days on Saturday, and only recently went to a five day work week. But he still always came to work before six, rain or shine.

In spite of his exceptional work ethic, he always took time each morning to have conversations with some of the men who regularly stopped by on their way to work just to hang out. There were two groups of them, he told me, one he affectionately called the "Liars Club" and the other the "Mennonite Mafia". Sonny and Eileen always had time for people and never seemed to be in a hurry, and were legendary for the service they provided to the community.

As evidence of the affection the community had for them, on their last day of having their place open yesterday people stopped throughout the day to wish them well and to enjoy the refreshments provided by their son and their two daughters. There were dozens of cards displayed that were sent by well wishers from near and far, some of whom gave gift cards to area restaurants with a total value of over $600.

So far, no one has come forward to rent the garage that has served so many so well for so long. Even if they did, we fear they could never provide the good service the Taylors have.

Some people are just irreplaceable.
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