Party Hardy! 2000 - The New Millennium - BodyShop Business
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Party Hardy! 2000 – The New Millennium

What are repairers doing to ring in the new millennium? Some are celebrating at home. Others are jetting off to exotic locales. None, that we know of, have barricaded themselves in a bomb shelter.

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You can’t open a magazine, watch the news or go anywhere without hearing about "the new millennium." You’d think it only happened once every 1,000 years or something.

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Because you’re probably suffering from millennium overload, it’s important you understand that I’m not doing this article to annoy you further. I’m doing it because it’s my only chance — there’s no way I’m going to be around another 1,000 years.

Chuck Sulkala, president, ACME Body & Paint Co., Inc., Boston (Jamaica Plain), Mass.
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
"Right now, my New Years plans aren’t set and, as usual, I probably won’t end up doing much. I see it as a night when all the amateurs go out and drive stupid and drink stupid. I’ll take them on one to one the next day, and we’ll see who the experts are. Actually, I prefer to spend it with a few friends. The only problem is that most of my real close friends are in this industry and spread from coast to coast

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"… We in Boston are celebrating New Year’s at 7 p.m. our time because that’s the official New Year’s for the world in Greenwich, England. … With the fireworks over the harbor — and it being early — I’m sure kids will be there along with parents and seniors. I may go to see that. … Some shrimp, some of my homemade fish chowder or chili, a fresh loaf of bread, some great Sterling Merlot and a night cap toast of Johnny Walker Blue — it doesn’t get much better than that."

BSB: If you could go anywhere for New Year’s, where would it be?
"I thought about going to Disney World for New Year’s. I think it would be great to start off the next Millennium in Fantasy world. They do such a great job there but, you know, the people who really make life wonderful are friends and family. And my family is all within 10 miles.

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"Disney would be fun, but so would seeing the sun rise on Haleakela in Maui."

BSB: Is this whole new millennium thing overrated?
"I think we’re marking the New Year a bit too much. But [I do] think it’s great, and I feel blessed to see it come and be a part of it. [I remember] watching the half century turn as a young boy with my grandmother, and 2000 seemed so far away. I remember wondering if I would live to see 2000. In those days, [it seemed] people died a lot more in their 40s and 50s. And if you made 60, life was good."

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Chuck’s analysis of the Red Sox curse and the new millennium …

"I really hope this turn of the millennium gets rid of the Babe Ruth curse on the Red Sox. Other than the Cubs, the Red Sox have waited the longest for a World Series title. The other day, a radio station gave 20 facts about it (which I can’t remember, probably because I’ve lived so long), such as since the Red Sox last won a World Series, radio was invented, television was invented, there were two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, seven major recessions and one depression, a new stadium was built for the Red Sox, it’s going to be torn down, another new stadium will be erected, the flagpoles atop the stadium to hold all the subsequent World Series flags have since rotted and fallen, the Cold War started and ended, the Wall was built and torn down, polio has come and gone and so have 15 U.S. presidents.

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"Yes, I would hope the new millennium ends that curse for the Red Sox."

BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"My New Year’s resolutions haven’t been made yet either, but a few things that come to mind are [watching my weight; being there more often for my family; finding ways to move aside so my children can begin the process of taking over; playing a little more golf with friends and trying not to hit the ball so hard; focusing a bit more so I can do more with and for this great industry; spending more time enjoying life around me; giving more of myself to other people who have received less than me; listening to my children more and my parents more; enjoying the friendships of people like Jeff Hendler, Lou DiLisio, John Loftus, Dale Delmege, Bruce Cooley, Tom Stryker, March Taylor and a host of others I truly consider friends; and reflecting more often that this place is pretty wonderful and special]. I want to always remember where I came from and who helped me along the way, but I want even more to look toward the future and help others on their way."


Bob Juniper, president Three-C Body Shops, Inc. Columbus, Ohio
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
Juniper says he’s headed to New Zealand for New Year’s Eve, and after midnight is "flying to Hawaii, which is back across the international date line. I’ll then have New Year’s Eve a second time in Hawaii. Cool, yes?"

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(Please don’t send Bob hate mail. That’s not a good way to start out the New Year.)

BSB: How do you plan to celebrate?
"With several bottles of Dom Perigon, and staying up ’til dawn to see ‘the dawn.’"

BSB: If you could go anywhere or do anything for New Year’s, where and what would it be?
"I’d like to be on a remote island just over the date line and be the first human to see the sun come up that first morning of the new millennium. This would truly be ‘the dawn of the new millennium.’ The first person on the planet to see it!"

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BSB: Is this whole new millennium thing overrated?
"No, this happens only one time every 1,000 years — it’s a big deal!"

BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"My resolution is to open more body shops! Also to learn to be a good father — my wife is pregnant with our first child."

Bobby Johnson, owner B&J Collision, Jefferson, Texas
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
"I’ll probably be in uniform, looking for folks who drink or do drugs and drive." (Johnson is a shop owner and a police officer.)

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BSB: If you could go anywhere for New Year’s, where would it be?
"It would be to the seawall in Galveston Island, Texas, to look out across the ocean and listen to the waves with Judi, or maybe walk on the beach."

BSB: Is this whole new millennium thing overrated?
"I think the world is making a big deal, but it’s just another day and I don’t think we face any problems other than what we face now. Too many people push fear and try to make a buck from something tied to that fear — and that bothers me."

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BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"One, to be debt free by the end of 2000. … Two, to make sure I spend more time and take trips to the beach with Judi, and three, ask to be paid for everything we have to do daily.

"After all that, just having Judi and me healthy, my daughter Shannon healthy and happy, and my mom and dad the same is plenty for me. I can deal with most anything else myself. I’ll continue to say my daily prayers and ask for wisdom and the intelligence to use that wisdom."

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Craig Duncan, general manager, Duncan 4×4 and Auto Repair, Gunnison, Colo.
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
"Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to be in Times Square on New Year’s 2000. I had a good friend who moved back East a couple of years ago, and I had the chance to go for New Year’s 1999. It was a blast. This year I’ll probably spend my New Year’s a little closer to home. Crested Butte ski resort is 30 miles away, and I’ll probably go up there with family and friends."

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BSB: Is this whole new millennium thing overrated?
"I think people are making too much of a big deal about it. [But] when it went from 1899 to 1900, there was similar mass hysteria. I find it comical."

BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"My New Year’s resolution is to do and be my best every day — the same resolution I have every year."

Pete Pleines, owner, Perrys Auto Collision, North Bellmore, N.Y.
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
"Mine include a night of fun at my country club. We’ll have three bands, all you can eat and drink, and breakfast at 4 a.m."

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BSB: If you could go anywhere for New Year’s, where would it be?
"This is where I want to be, with my wife and all our friends. We can do anything we want, so this it."

BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"My biggest concern is to get all the financial aspects of my business in order in case something happens to me. It will include a complete update of my will and all buyout agreements. I realize times and conditions are changing rapidly, and I’m getting older by the minute!"

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Henry Netter, senior repair tech, Auto Tech Collision, Philadelphia, Pa.
BSB: What are your plans for New Year’s Eve?
"Since all of my family is either dead or moved away, all our plans will revolve around my wife’s family. They’re great people, and I enjoy being with them. … My wife’s sister is a single, successful finance manager at a Saturn dealership, and she just bought a house. We’re going to christen it with dinner and a small party.

"This year will have a lot more meaning to me and the family because her father has liver cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. Reality being what it is, this could be the last one we share together. Ringing in the new millennium with him is the most special thing I can think of doing."

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BSB: If you could go anywhere for New Year’s, where would it be?
"I’d have two dreams: one would be celebrating with Mickey, Donald, Pluto and the gang at Disney World in Orlando. I’d love to have the family there with all the kids and just have fun, fun, fun. (Oh, and the kids would have a nice time, too!) The other would be a romantic getaway … just me and the wife (sorry Amanda), either at a wonderful and warm tropical resort or in Las Vegas."

BSB: Is this whole new millennium thing overrated?
"People are always looking for something to celebrate. Twelve hours of pre-game Super Bowl coverage proves that. … The folks who want to make a big deal of it, fine. Have fun, but be careful. The people who want to enjoy it as just another night in their lives, that’s fine with me too. Life can be a bitch at times, and we sometimes need a distraction. Besides, two days later, life is back to normal …. except for having to remember to put the right date on our checks!"

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BSB: What are your New Year’s resolutions?
"Resolutions are like a cool summer breeze. They feel good but are soon forgotten. Besides the [resolutions] of losing weight, being kind to strangers, feeding homeless carrier pigeons and running for president, most of my resolutions will be job and career oriented.

"I plan to learn how to do paintless dent removal to the point where I can make a buck at it. … I want to get more education through I-CAR and some company seminars. I also want to write more informative articles [for Body-Shop Business]. I want a cover story … that’s right, I want to be on the cover and, if I play my cards right, the centerfold?

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"At 44 years, millennium excitement for me is different than for a 22-year-old. I’ll probably struggle just to stay awake. But around my neighborhood, the gunfire should keep us up."

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