Reply From Harlan Huckleby

When Stars Collide

I was extremely disturbed by a story that was printed in the February edition of your magazine. My name is Harlan Huckleby, and I was the subject of the story, "When Stars Collide," [pg. 120], where I'm portrayed as a jerk who tried to stiff a repair shop out of $400. The author of the story Cheryl McMullen obviously took the shop owner's version of what happened and ran with it.

Let me give you my version of what occurred. First, this incident took place in 1999 not 1997, as the writer stated. I was referred to AMT Autobody by a local dealer whom I had purchased another vehicle. I acted upon that referral instead of using the shops recommended by my insurance company. Yes, the first deductible check did bounce. I was not arrogant about it. In fact, it was an embarrassing situation to be in, and I made good on the bad check immediately. My wife delivered the money to AMT Autobody the next day. Doug Young, the owner of AMT Autobody, did not have to send his wife to pick up anything from me as the writer Cheryl McMullen also misstated.

Next, as for the $400 check that Doug Young was going to "sue me over," he's a flat-out liar. He never contacted me about a lawsuit. The check was for supplemental work, for which he billed my insurance company but did not perform to my satisfaction. He billed the insurance company for the repair of my air conditioning unit, which was damaged in the front-end collision. My air conditioner didn't work when I got the car back, and I eventually had to get a reliable and reputable shop to fix that problem. I was told by the other shop that the A/C unit didn't even have the fan belt attached.

As for the front end repair job, it was terrible. After a few months, I started to see cracks in the paint on the front bumper. I'm certainly not a collision repair specialist, but that should not have happened. The quality of the work performed by AMT Autobody, if my car's job is representative, may be the reason Doug Young no longer owns his shop.

The most disturbing part of the story is that I'm being portrayed as an arrogant thief. Arrogant, no way. In fact, I try to downplay the fact that I played at Michigan and Green Bay. If someone doesn't mention it, there's no way they'll ever know it from me. I happened to play football, big deal. I know that I am no better than the next guy. The only difference is Cheryl McMullen wouldn't have written a one-sided, erroneous story about "the next guy."

Thank you,
Harlan Huckleby