Dec 092009

Of all of the places I don’t want to be, anywhere it is cold and snowing is at the very top of my list. Stuck in a traffic jam? Mere child’s play. Sitting in a dentist’s chair getting a root canal? I can handle it. Dinner with my ex-mother-in-law? Bring it on and give me a heaping helping of seconds.

But snow and cold just do not fit into my life plan. And we are getting it here in Elkhart, Indiana! I don’t want to be an Eskimo! I belong on a beach somewhere, soaking up sunshine, listening to Jimmy Buffett, and watching the pretty girls strolling by in their skimpy bikinis. This is just wrong!

In spite of the hassle and discomfort caused by our break in, I just cannot say enough good about the folks here at Duncan RV Repair. Owners Jim and Kristy Deavers, and their entire staff, have treated us just like family. When we came in Monday morning each and every employee stopped to shake our hands, even hug us, and tell us how sorry they were for what happened, and how glad they were that we were not injured in the confrontation with the burglar.

Jim Deavers told me that he was making getting us back on the road his top priority, and their crew swarmed over our motorhome, fixing the bent door where I slammed it on the bad guy’s hand, replacing the screen on the door, measuring the door window to get replacement glass ordered, and a dozen other tasks. They replaced both of our DVD players, my netbook computer, our TV, and even ordered a replacement for my Silverleaf engine monitoring cable.

Jim even had a lady come in to clean the inside of the motorhome, wiping down any surface the burglar might have touched, vacuuming the carpet, and making our home feel “clean” again! I’m sure my lady blog readers know how much that meant to Miss Terry.

Everybody here has gone far above and beyond what was required or expected, and we appreciate it more than we can ever say. They have made a terrible time in our lives a lot easier to deal with. We don’t feel like customers experiencing some misfortune, but rather family members with a problem that the whole clan has come together to help and support.

Somebody sent me an e-mail saying that they would never come to any place to get service or repairs done where something like this could have happened. That’s nonsense. This could have happened anywhere in the country. Crime is not isolated to the big cities or the bad neighborhoods anymore. It’s everywhere.

The once charming, peaceful small Arizona mountain town where we lived for so many years before hitting the road, is now overrun with meth dealers and crime. My daughter lives within sight of the police department, and a couple of years ago one of her neighbors was busted for making meth in his apartment! She worked at a Sears store, and came out to find her brand new car stolen, and when it was later recovered, it had been vandalized. When I owned the newspaper there, we seldom had reports of robberies and burglaries. Now two of my good friends have had their businesses broken into, and the bank was just robbed this past Friday!

It is not the fault of Duncan RV that some scumbag picked our motorhome to break into while it was parked on their lot. It would have been easy for them to tell us “There’s the telephone, call your insurance company, and when they give us the okay, we’ll make an appointment to start in on your repairs.” I have met more than a few shop owners who would have done just that. But Jim and Kristy Deavers are honest, decent, hard working, wonderful people who feel a sense of responsibility to their customers, and they want to make things right. We feel very fortunate that if this had to happen to us, at least it happened here, with people who care.  We would come back here for service anytime.

Thought For The Day – An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of wit.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  14 Responses to “But I Don’t Want To Be An Eskimo!”

  1. What a great testament to a genuinely stand-up organization. I am sure their reputation took a hit from your experience, but this blog should more than make up for it. I hope this story gets onto the forums with as much exposure as the original tale.

    Hang in there guys and you will back where it’s warm in no time!

  2. Nick-

    Thank God you folks are OK.

    I get the winter weather aversion you suffer from; I’m awake tonight as I usually work nights in the ER– the wind is howling up here in Minneapolis and I can barely see the next door house through the blizzard conditions. Rockport & Port Aransas sound like the solution right now!

    One question… how well is your insurance company taking care of you with the break-in?

  3. It’s nice to read that you have been treated so well after an awful situation. They certainly have gone above and beyond what many dealers would have done. Hope you get to sunny Florida soon and can relax for awhile. It’s going to be 82 today here in sunny Central Florida.

  4. Isn’t that what family does, take care of each other. Yea I know they live in the Great White North, not related by blood but they like us are rv’ers. you are on the doing end and they are on the keeping you out there end. This service is almost above and beyond. They may even have signs up the state accident etc. are not the respociblity of managment. That may hold water in court but never in a service situation.
    I hope you guys continue to heal and recover. We go on from these events modified and I am praying for the better in your case.
    Winter is not forever it only seems like that while in it. And even there the extreem comes and goes. Cold coming your way. Really really time to move South.

  5. Life is full of turns, and out of a bad situation you have made more friends and also been reminded in a real sense, that the number of good people in the world stilll outnumbers the not so good.
    As for the snow, there is nothing like getting caught in the first snowstorm of the season to remind you why you make the journey South every year.
    Pat and Jim

  6. Indeed Duncan RV Repair is a class outfit. We have had work done there several times. They are very much like family. They have always been very honest with their work hours. The work we have done on our 5th wheel was always top quality. We too had always felt comfortable parked in their lot. This instance will not deter us from staying there and having work done there in the future.
    We are sorry that this happened to you. But it could not have happened at a better place to get things fixed and get you back on the road.

    Bernie Patton

  7. Joyce and I send out a newsletter to friends perioically and I will include a link to Duncan’s in the next one. Hope you are back on the road southbound soon.

  8. From the weather reports we’ve seen, you are going to have a terrible journey ahead of you. Be so careful, fellas. This is a dismal end of autumn for the highway travelers. We’ll say a prayer for safe travel for you.

  9. Nick, we can’t agree more about Duncan’s and Jim and Kristy….we spent many weeks there having lots of things done to our MH, and they treated us better than anywhere we’ve ever been. Bill, one of the technicians even invited us out to his home on the lake and took us for a sunset boat ride one evening!! They are truly great folks to deal with and they have always taken tremendous care of us (and the many other people we know who have been there for repairs!)
    We are so sorry this had to happen to you, but you can’t be in better hands!

    Tell Angela, Kristy, Alice,Vinnie, Bill, Jim and all of those great folks that we said “Hello”!!
    Then hurry South…before something freezes over!!!

  10. Nick and Terry,

    We had not read your blog for a few days and we so saddened and shocked to read about what happened. We are so sorry and send you two big hugs. We live in Indianapolis and would love to take you out to dinner if it will work with your schedule.

    Please know that you are both in our thoughts and prayers.

  11. Nick Did you get the glass for the door??

  12. Oh — Nick and Terry! We are both so sorry to hear of your ordeal!! As we read your blogs, we just kept saying, “Wow! Holy cow!” We are sooo glad you’re both OK and that you’ve had the opportunity to share your story — perhaps helping another RVer who will face this situation as we continue to watch the world of evil spread into places we always felt safe.

    Peace and warmth will surely be yours soon — you have obviously experienced a great amount of human warmth — the best kind. Best wishes for a safe journey to the VA and points beyond. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    Melissa and Larry Beahm

  13. Someone said “…..saying that they would never come to any place to get service or repairs done where something like this could have happened.”

    Yeah. Ha, ha, ha. There’s someone who needs to get out and about a little more, I fear. Indeed, I can clearly recall the day one could have left the whole rig sitting running and unlocked in Elkhart (yes, same Elkhart) and come back to find it as it was left. Sadly, that hasn’t been so long ago….

    Since I began traveling mostly alone, such violent episodes have happened to my traveling friends, one of whom was killed, so now I dedicate a good bit of space and a lot of time to a very well trained and highly discretionary canine buddy. He has a small companion who is what I once said I’d never have–yappy and jumps at window when anything goes on around the vehicle. So even if anybody shoots Sir Yap and thinks they’ve eliminated their problem, they’ll meet a major surprise if they enter the vehicle. The surprise is waiting silently, very powerful, black and (impossible to see if it’s dark) and has had special protection-dog training. I have much faith in that dog. My brother trained him (and me) and now, 2 years later, even he (brother) cannot enter my vehicle, day or night, unless I give the dog the OK, which is a nonverbal signal. That’s the way I like it.

    It’s not that I’m so glad to have to travel that way, but at least I can still travel and not be fearful.

  14. Nick I’m about 100 miles straight west of you and we are getting 20-35 mph winds. I hope you are somewhat protected from the wind. Oh, and be glad YOU can leave while us wannabees have to stay all winter and tough it out!

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