First let me say that every week when I pick up the Lake Okeechobee News, I find some article of interest that helps me appreciate my decision to leave the coast and begin the next chapter of my life — my retirement — here in “The Glades.” I find the content of your paper to be informative, objective, and relevant to the events surrounding “The Lake.”
But what I want to highlight in this letter is the vast difference that small-town living offers to that of living just an hour and fifteen minutes to the southeast — “The Coast.” There is a marked difference in the attitudes and behaviors of business owners and employees; the most pronounced difference happened with my car.
For over six weeks, maybe longer, I was dealing with a car dealership in Ft. Lauderdale over a leaky roof issue with my convertible, and some other items that would have cost me about $1,500. The service advisor was a young man of about 30-something who treated me as an annoyance and the result was a falling out between us. He never fixed my vehicle but still kept my $200 diagnostic charge.
Then I took my car to Robert at Vallejo Auto Sales in Clewiston, FL, and as always, I was greeted with a smile and with respect. I had taken my car to him before for other minor things and each time I left his shop, I always felt like I had a brother or a friend who cared about my car and me. As it turns out, none of the repairs that the “Big City” car dealership said I needed were necessary and Robert fixed one of my $350 problems in a few minutes and at “no charge.” I insisted on paying him his hourly rate of $60.
I felt the need to write your paper because I am tired of being taken advantage of and I felt a “feel good” story is needed in a world of such horrible news cycles. Robert Vallejo is just one of the kind and generous people I have met here in Clewiston, FL, and since I have set my stake down and started to build my life here, my faith in my fellow man is steadily being restored.