The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Letters to the Editor

July 21, 2013

Letters to the Editor 7/21/13



Deacon Dan Laurita


Thank you, Al

Dear Editor:

We were traveling home to Illinois with our daughter and two grandbabies when our car began running very poorly. We ended up getting off the Interstate at U.S. 72, not knowing anything about where we were. Since it was 6 p.m., we sputtered into the first motel to look for some help in the morning.

Perhaps we should have sputtered a little further because we were soon trying to avoid the drunks, panhandlers and drug dealers that seemed to reside there.

We have some resources, but by no means are rich people. Having been abused before by the chain shops’ up-sellers, we searched the Internet for the independent-type shop that had good reviews. The good ones are usually busy, and that was the case with two that I had picked out. Having left the family at the Waffle House after checkout time, I was really getting worried about getting the problem solved so that we could get back home. Then I happened to drive by Al’s Transmission shop; it seemed like a long shot, but I stopped.

He was on the phone, but the secretary grabbed the analyzer, hooked it up, took a picture of the display, and then went back into the office to read the information to Al, who immediately said it sounded like a heavy vacuum leak. He was under the hood about two minutes before he found the holes in the intake manifold that the other mechanics spending hours didn’t.

When I explained our situation, they went out of their way to help us. When a new manifold wasn’t available locally, they began scouring salvage yards. Next thing I knew, we were in a barn pulling the part off an old engine. I still can’t believe he found the manifold or how reasonable the whole repair bill ended up being. We were soon on the road and the vehicle ran great.

This letter to let readers know the kind of business he runs, and is the best way I can think of to say “thank you” to Al. Had we just spent the night at that motel, we would have left with a very bad image of Athens, but we scratched through the surface. We saw that you should be proud of your community with people like Al and his staff. Athens seems like a great place to live.

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