So, every now and then I get the overwhelming desire to sit down and write...
By Jessica Giammalvo Hashim
So, every now and then I get the overwhelming desire to sit down and write. Usually it’s from something that I’ve done or read that’s gotten my creative juices flowing, but its always something random…This time it just so happened to be the Sam Giammalvo’s website.
Well, that and my inability to sleep before 2 o’clock in the morning.
With not much else to do, I found myself perusing the site – starting with the “About Us” section, and on through the customer letters and articles written by Sam, Glenn, and Mark. Odd, one might think, me being the granddaughter of Sam Giammalvo himself. What could I possibly read that I don’t already know about them? But I continued reading just for the heck of it. Plus, if nothing else the site does have some pretty classic pictures of everyone, my little 8 year old self included. I was quickly drawn in by the customer response letters that have been posted over the years.
Naturally, being a part of the family, my experience with “The car lot” (as we grew up calling it) has been quite different then that of your ordinary customer.
-Or has it?-
Nothing beats having (Glenn) the service manager for your dad. From the time I turned 16 I’ve been well taken care of – spoiled even – in the car department. No, that doesn’t mean that I drive around in a flashy, crazy expensive car, and I didn’t get handed the keys to some new corvette in a “My Super Sweet 16” TV show – style. But what I did get was a nice healthy respect for cars and a somewhat decent understanding of them. (Something that will undoubtedly take me much further down the road of life than a sports car!)
In 2005 when I first got my license I shared my older sister’s 1987 Jeep Cherokee with her that she had gotten when she first started driving. But it wasn’t about the year, or the mileage for that matter. . It was, in fact, quite a bit newer than my dad’s 1984 CJ-7. It was the fact that it ran like a charm and we had daddy for all the service it could ever need. Not long after that I got my very own Jeep Cherokee, and my first part-time job to keep up with the gas and insurance. Only this time it was a 1997 and felt like the ritz!
I still remember going to the lot to see it for the first time – shiny dark blue (my favorite color) two-toned interior, and power locks and windows!!! Of course, I couldn’t take it home until it got a thorough once over from the shop. (Like I said, Ive been spoiled)
Jeep needs an oil change? Not to worry, dad always keeps track of the oil & lube dates and brings it in every few months. And you better believe that each and every service that’s done gets added to the little history notebook we keep in the glove box for reference. From funny noises, to the doors that decided to lock and unlock themselves, dads always right there to fix it up good as new. Lord only knows how many “jeep question” phone calls he got while I was in college.
Quite some time has passed since then – although the Jeep is still up and running good as ever. The only difference now is the little 2006 Toyota Corolla I also have thanks to Grandpa Sam and my dad’s wise insistence on having the patience to wait for just the right car to come along. Just like the first time, I pulled into the car lot to see it and felt like the Ritz! Once again my favorite color blue, air conditioning, a key remote (or “booper” as I like to call it), not to mention one of the most reliable things on wheels. Yet again my new car got the thorough once over from the boys before going to its new home.
Perhaps that’s what got me writing in the first place. There’s nothing quite like the feeling knowing your own family is taking care of your car, and not many people can lay claim to that like I can.
That’s when it clicked. The Aha! Moment that I just had to share…everyone CAN feel like that, just like I can – Giammalvo’s does that for all of its customers. It’s the little sticker on the windshield telling you when to get an oil change. It’s the post card in the mail reminding you of the next service that’s needed. It’s the help you get when you call, and the extra care you get in between the ‘feeling like the Ritz and taking it home for the very first time. Most importantly, it’s the good feeling knowing that you can trust our family to take care of you and your car, just as if it were our very own.
…OK, so maybe I’m not quite as special as I thought…but I still get to call him DAD!!