Even the most generous members of communities can need a little help. For nearly two decades, Dennis and Lori Samborski ran an auto repair shop on Highway 92 in Platte City. You could easily miss the place if you didn’t know where to look, but once you were in there once, you were bound to return because of the service you received.
Doesn’t matter whether you knew the place as Hometown Auto, D&L Auto Repair or DNL Repair.
All were welcome to receive an honest assessment and quality service, usually with a big smile and lots of boisterous laughter from the owners. Dennis also might have spared you a charge for that blown fuse he repaired or told you to come back next week with the rest of the payment on that new alternator if you found yourself a bit shorthanded that day.
Now, Lori could use a little bit of that generosity in return.
My brother drove past DNL Repair last week on his way to work and noticed emergency personnel at the small house the couple occupied next door. He had a sinking feeling about the presence of those vehicles, and unfortunately, his suspicions were correct.
Dennis Samborski died at the age of 50 of a suspected heart attack.
Not only did Lori lose her companion and business partner, but there’s no life insurance to cover the expenses. Friends have started a GoFundMe account which can be accessed at http://www.gofundme.com/DennisD-amp-LAuto to help cover the costs of his services.
As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly $2,000 of a $7,000 goal has been reached through that site, and donations are also being accepted elsewhere. The full obituary can be found on page 6 of this week’s Citizen.
Dennis helped keep my 1986 Mercury Cougar functional for longer than its expected life during high school. My mom and brother have been regular customers for years.
I’ve experienced first-hand how Dennis did business, and in a realm of service where honesty can be hard to find, D&L always put the customer first. There were no unexpected or unnecessary charges.
I can tell you that Dennis never did any of this for the attention, and I’m guessing he’d be a bit embarrassed to have me make a big deal about this situation in this space. But it’s important, or at least is to me.
Some of the best members of our community don’t receive enough recognition for who they are until after they are gone. This is your chance to give a little back if Dennis ever helped you get along your way with a fixed-up car.
My dad and grandpa will be glad to know Dirk’s Bar and Grill will be opening back, and I’m sure they aren’t alone.
The popular dining/drinking establishment located just off Barry Road and just short of Platte Woods plans to reopen under new ownership in the coming weeks. Four people have went in together to buy Dirk’s after it closed at the end of 2014, and that group includes Mike McCartney, who you might know best by the sound of his voice. He’s been the long-serving public address announcer for Kansas City Royals games at Kauffman Stadium.
The updates have been scant, but you can follow Dirk’s at @DirksbarKC for more concrete info as the re-opening date approaches. Early estimates are late February.
While one business plans to come back, another nearby might not be open for long. Radio Shack announced last week that it plans to close more than 2,100 stores nationwide after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The once-cutting-edge electronics retail store has one location in Platte County, just off of NW 64th Street in southern Platte County. You might not have been in a while, but it was near the Hen House Market just off of Interstate 29.
I haven’t driven by since the announcement, but some of the closings will be happening pretty quickly.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.