HAMLET – William Aaronson and his wife Veronica own and operate an automotive repair shop at the east end of Hamlet Avenue. You may not have noticed, but it’s there, just before you get to the National Railroad Museum as you’re heading out of town towards Laurinburg.
The shop may be small, but the owners are everything you could want or ask for in the field of automotive repair. Something as simple as fixing a flat tire is focused upon with the same degree of seriousness, attention and directed effort as would be a major engine overhaul.
“A job is a job in this business,” says Aaronson. “The guy with the flat tire is just as concerned about getting that fixed as the guy with the blown engine is with his car, so …..” He doesn’t need to finish the sentence – it is clear that Aaronson believes that anyone pulling in to his shop (or having to be towed in if such is the case) is an important customer and deserves the same amount of service and respect as the next person.
“We can do just about any job that’s needed,” Aaronson stated. “But the big ones, of course, take more time – and patience from the customer.” Smiling as he states the obvious, William seems to take everything in stride, as does his wife.
Veronica had just been involved in a serious automobile accident the night before, but, bruised and sore all over, she was still answering the phone and talking to the customers about their car issues the following morning.
“We can’t really tell when it will be busy or slow,” she said. “So we have to be here pretty much all the time.”
And it is “time” that the Aaronsons seem to have mastered. Having been in operation for almost two years (they opened on a part-time basis in January 2016 before going fulltime a year later), William almost apologetically notes that he does most of the work alone.
“If I need it, I can get help, but I can usually do okay by myself,” he explained.
It would seem that he can indeed “do okay” (with the administrative assistance of Veronica, of course). He was doing “okay” by himself while working two jobs at once – a fulltime security officer at night and the automotive technician work by day for a full year – and taking care of his family (he and Veronica have two boys and two girls between them and Aaronson cites them as his best accomplishment).
“I didn’t get much sleep, but you do what you have to do to keep the business going,” Aaronson said.
With safety certification equipment to be set up and ready in January for 2018 car inspections, William’s business will pick up to the point where he may indeed have to hire some more help.
But doing “what you have to do to keep the business going” does not necessarily involve pay for his time and effort. When William placed the repaired spare tire (which he had already tested to ensure it was still holding air) in the back of the customer’s truck, he was asked how much he was owed for the work. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “It wasn’t that much of a job.”
So, you need a good, honest mechanic, do you? Try William’s Auto on Hamlet Avenue. His hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. And Saturday if needed. Aaronson can be reached at 910-434-9319.