I'm closing in on the end of my Lenten 40 list of people I admire and respect, and today, it's all about someone who is like my Knight in Shining Armor, like the brother I never had (aside from the two I DO have)!
Frank Crotty, Jr. is the 3rd generation 'Crotty' in Crotty Auto Services. Officially, it's called Napa SomethingOrOther now, but to me, it always has been and always will be "Frank's".
There are people in life whose assistance in our time of need we all take for granted - plumbers, electricians and the like.
Frank and his staff are a team that my family never takes for granted. They have hauled our collective butts out of some sticky situations with vehicles more times that we can count, over the past... I dunno... 20 years or so.
Something happens to my car? I call Frank. Suddenly, my problem becomes his problem, and it gets dealt with like I'm the only customer in the world.
I bought my brand new Honda C-RV in 2003, and once it was driven off the lot, Honda mechanics never laid a finger on it again. No one tinkers with my car's innards except for Frank's guys.
That said, if something came up that was under warranty, Frank will tell me, so I could go that route and not be charged for the repair. In my experience, there are not many who are that honest, that's for sure.
Here it is, 2012, and my nine-year-old C-RV is still purring like a kitten. I'm not even entertaining getting something new. There's no need. Of course, there's a lot to be said for Honda quality, but even a vehicle of the highest quality is not going to last without tender loving - and competent - care.
My sister has known Frank forever. She and Dad have been dealing with him long before I first moved home from Fort McMurray in 1995.
One of the first times I got to know Frank was when I was working on a ship that was sailing in and out of Argentia, out to the Grand Banks and back. I can't remember now what happened to the Jeep YJ that I was driving at the time, but it was something big that was going to take days to repair. All of a sudden, here I was with no means to get back and forth to Argentia. Dad loaned me his car, so I managed to get to my ship, but now he was going to be stuck without his car until I got home.
So, what did Frank do?
Frank got my Jeep fixed, then he drove it out to Argentia, parked it, and drove Dad's car back for him. Unbelieveable.
That was back around 1998, and I'm still awed by it. Talk about going above and beyond the call!
There is always something, though, that can give displeasure, and Frank is no exception. My one complaint of him is that every time they move shop, they move it further away from the East End! When I first knew him, they were on Pippy Place. Then, they moved around the corner and up Kenmount Road, near Kelsey Drive. That wasn't too bad. But then! He moves out around the bay, to Mt. Pearl. Grrr!! He needs to move just one more time, onto Stavanger Drive. Then, all will be perfect!
I'll soon be heading back out to Frank's, with my summer tires in tow, needing to get my studded winter tires off. I'll drop my car off the night before, and put the keys through the slot in an envelope with a note for Frank. These notes have become a lot of fun to write!
Along with what needs to be done with the car, there are usually some vague and colorful suggestions on how I might pay for the services, or some other nonsense, but it's all quite innocent! It's a riot to see how Frank can blush. Haven't quite decided if he's embarrassed, or horrified!
But, their motto is all about giving "miles of smiles", so that's all I'm trying to do, to repay the favor. Frank has been so good to us, it is hard to repay him and his staff, for keeping us on the road, and for knowing without a doubt that if there is car trouble, it's going to be dealt with soon, and well.
Thank you, Frank! Do you want to clear off your desk, or shall I???