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Local businesses repair car following antigay vandalism.
August 22, 2012 5:07 PM   Subscribe

Local businesses repair car following antigay vandalism. Quality Auto Paint and Body in Roanoke decided to help by getting together with several other local businesses and restored the car to better than it was from the start.

Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon's Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val's Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ's Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa all helped with the effort.

Addison's car was vandalized four times in a 3 month period. Gay slurs were keyed into the car the first time, with dye [sic] subsequently keyed into it. He was originally given a 2500 quote to cover the original damage, but as most college students he didn't have the funds to do so.
posted by SuzySmith (54 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
I e-mailed manager Richard Henegar, Jr. to thank him for 'paying it forward.'

He's been touched by the support via the Internet. He said that they are now considering doing a remake every year for those deserving of such.
posted by ericb at 5:20 PM on August 22, 2012 [30 favorites]


Awesome. The world needs more people like this.
posted by snowleopard at 5:25 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just restoring nature's non-douchebag to douchebag proper ratio. Sometimes reading the newspaper and political blogs distorts one's view of humanity, real people restore it.
posted by C.A.S. at 5:34 PM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


So, Richard Henegar, Jr. is a solid, stand up guy for soldiers, too. I want to party with him.
posted by Mojojojo at 5:35 PM on August 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Roanoke represent! Following the political campaign nonsense we've endured recently, this is something we can be really proud of. The body shop guy went out of his way to solicit donations from other local businesses. This was a collaborative effort of awesomeness. I have lived in this town for 4 years after a lifetime in DC metro and in spite of recent press showing this region to be populated by a bunch of yahoos, I can tell you there are a lot of really, really great people here.
posted by headnsouth at 5:35 PM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


It sucked to read what happened to his car, but what a nice gesture by local businesses.
posted by circular at 5:39 PM on August 22, 2012


Yay! Thanks, SuzySmith. Seems like, these days, I don't get enough of these stories.
posted by Brak at 5:58 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what we have here is a decent human being who is not out just for #1, but is actively looking for chances to do good in this world?!? Wow. That's one heck of an upstanding human being.
posted by easily confused at 6:00 PM on August 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


What a mensch.
posted by acb at 6:05 PM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


love this - because the only thing that will make someone Not Gay - not a church, not prayer, not legislation, but just keying retarded crap into someone else's private property really gets the heretofore gay individual to rethink their ways.

Nice to see people doing what's decent and right and making a policy of it.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:15 PM on August 22, 2012


A good egg.
posted by bardic at 6:18 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a good thing to hear. Thank you!
posted by rtha at 6:20 PM on August 22, 2012


It's interesting to me that it isn't only auto repair businesses which helped make this possible. Obviously there was some quality community business networking going on to make this happen.

I hope the GLBT community in Roanoke gets wind of this and throws their collective business support behind these businesses. It's a good reward for people doing something nice. Even if it was done with an eye of community outreach = advertising, this is the best kind of advertising possible, and those businesses deserve to find that what they have done has positive consequences.

Thanks for posting this. I feel sometimes like all I get is bad news about being GLBT in the US, even in these supposedly "enlightened" times. Something like this is a breath of fresh air, and does my weary hippie soul some good.
posted by hippybear at 6:25 PM on August 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


"We were glad to hear he was pleased with it."

This made me tear up a little. Thanks for the post.
posted by sheprime at 6:28 PM on August 22, 2012


Sort of very Kurt's Dad.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:46 PM on August 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


Lipstick Thesbian I maybe misreading your post I don't think anything can make someone 'not-gay' not even a bunch of decent hetero-sexuals and acts of charity and kindness. I do agree that acts of decency are not reported enough. Some kind souls insist on anonymity humility is often a companion trait to generosity.
posted by pdxpogo at 6:46 PM on August 22, 2012


Wow. Wonderful story! It's nice to see there are decent, good-hearted people out there!
Henegar says 10 other businesses helped out.

"We can't afford to do this ourselves," says Henegar, "We might have all the good intentions in the world but I can't finance something like this ourselves."

Those businesses include Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon's Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val's Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ's Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa.

posted by zarq at 6:49 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fantastic story, thanks for posting this.
posted by carter at 6:51 PM on August 22, 2012


Yey Local businesses!
posted by Hicksu at 6:55 PM on August 22, 2012


They restored not only the car, but some of my faith in humanity. Wish I lived nearby so I could support these places with my business.
posted by smirkette at 7:08 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Consider my cockles warmed.
posted by wierdo at 7:21 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


love this - because the only thing that will make someone Not Gay - not a church, not prayer, not legislation, but just keying retarded crap into someone else's private property really gets the heretofore gay individual to rethink their ways.

I see what you did there. :)
posted by tantrumthecat at 7:26 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great story. Wonder what Radford University security has been doing on this. Something more than nothing, one can only hope.
posted by mediareport at 7:30 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


i like that they put a security system in it. i hope it's the old cobra kind that says "step away from the car, douchebag."

that was really awesome.
posted by sio42 at 7:37 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope part of the security system includes video surveillance in the car; as nice as this story is, it's hard not to suspect that the day he parks the shiny new car on campus it'll be keyed/vandalized again by the same cowards.

And so help me god, I'm sorry for this but I can't resist: "Yo dawg, we herd you like men in your men..."
posted by hincandenza at 7:41 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


They're not all necessarily as heartwarming as locals helping locals like this story, but PowerBlock TV's program Search & Restore does have some rewarding episodes such as when they restored a '55 Chevy Handyman Wagon for a guy who was confined to a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:47 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


sio42: "i like that they put a security system in it. i hope it's the old cobra kind that says "step away from the car, douchebag.""

Christ, I hope not - they'd be putting money into the pocket of Darrell Issa, sleazebag extraordinaire. (yes, that's Issa's voice on the "step away from the car.")
posted by notsnot at 7:49 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lipstick Thesbian I maybe misreading your post

I think so. I'm pretty sure she was saying that the people who keyed the car are dumb for thinking that doing such an obviously stupid and cruel thing would make the gay person decide not to be gay.
posted by Night_owl at 8:26 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


:']

Happy tears. How great.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:36 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I couldn't see the video, so help me out here. His car was vandalized at a university? Do they suspect it was university students who did it? Because, man, that shit is pretty junior high.
posted by nushustu at 9:09 PM on August 22, 2012


"Most of" the four incidents happened while the car was parked at Radford University, yeah.
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:35 PM on August 22, 2012


Once at his home, three times at Radford, Nushustu. It makes me sad that he has to deal with this from supposed adults.
posted by SuzySmith at 9:36 PM on August 22, 2012


Call me a pessimist, but I've got to wonder how the vandals will react to all this attention... Mr Heneger gives me faith in humanity, though - I messaged him on Facebook to thank him for his good deed... let's hope the vandals are shamed by the outpouring of support for what Mr Heneger did.
posted by newfers at 9:46 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really needed this today, so thank you. I'm not lbgt but I consider myself a rabid ally and much as it breaks my heart that the original acts happened, it's our unfortunate current reality and it does no one good to ignore it. Rather it's just great to see the opportunity put to good use (and publicity--it's equally important, I think, right now).

I'm so proud of the businesses involved.
So yeah. Just thanks.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:54 PM on August 22, 2012


Lazyweb idea: GAYSURANCE.

Start a commonwealth-styled LLC insurance company or mutual assistance fund or something that people can donate into and/or buy into to help themselves and others recover from hate crimes like this, or worse.

Emergency funds could be used to pay for lawyers, investigators, hospital bills, repairs or replacements - real world things focused on A) healing the damage and B) bringing the perpetrators to accountability or justice.
posted by loquacious at 9:57 PM on August 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Call me a pessimist, but I've got to wonder how the vandals will react to all this attention...

Yes.. But I think the gesture is far more important than the outcome of the car, really. This young man and many others knows that he has this kind of support. And $10000 bucks is a pretty fucking powerful gesture.

Making the best of it, pro-style.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:58 PM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Best episode of Pimp My Ride ever.
posted by ambrosia at 10:06 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great story. That guy has a big heart. But if they believe this was a targeted attack, then I cant help but think that the bullies will just target him again and vandalize the car. I truly home not
posted by cusack01 at 10:27 PM on August 22, 2012


I'm blown away that this happens to a university student. If I was Daddy Warbucks, I'd send this guy a scholarship to a U where this isn't going to happen. The perps need to be tracked down, and forced to spend their free time washing cars at gay fund-raisers.
posted by Goofyy at 10:40 PM on August 22, 2012


I've got to wonder how the vandals will react to all this attention.

That's what I wondered, when I opened my wallet to rebuild the Joplin Mosque. Okay, yeah, a some idiot could look at this as a challenge to just burn it down again.

But, at some point, decent people have to say, goddamit, enough! I refuse to let my country be defined by the smallest souls in the territory. I've lived my whole life with jerks like this, and I refuse to give into them anymore. Enough! In the bowels of Christ, enough!
posted by SPrintF at 11:12 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Roanoke's an interesting place. No, it's not the same as the Lost Colony, thanks for asking. I moved away some years ago, but still miss it in many ways. For anyone who doesn't know where Roanoke's located, if you've driven down 81, you've gone past it. Used to be a big railroad hub too. It has the distinction of being "the largest metropolitan area in SW VA", which is kind of like saying that I'm really tall for a 5 year old. The only other major urban areas are DC and its environs, Norfolk, and Richmond, all a couple hours' drive away. Roanoke's population is maybe 1/4 to 1/3d of Richmond's million. Still, it's the closest thing to a big city in an otherwise fairly rural part of the state, and despite this VICE article, it's not careening (or Korine-ing) - into some kind of Mad Max/Gummo hellscape. Well, maybe Vinton is.

Roanoke's biggest gay club, The Park, has been open since the 70s. I remember seeing rainbow flags or bumper stickers around town growing up. Pride in the Park (at an actual park, not the club) is a pretty well-attended event. Roanoke's voted Democratic in most Presidential elections since the 70s also. For the area, it's a remarkably liberal and tolerant place.

As it's something of an political/cultural outlier for the area, though, there's definitely tension. Ten years ago, there was a shooting at a gay bar, The Backstreet Cafe, and there have been other attacks since then, though I don't know of any lethal ones. And last time I was in town, I had a conversation with an old friend who expressed this weird anger about seeing celebrations of the Marriage Equality Act on TV, complaining about "effeminate behavior". I was completely shocked; I guess living in NYC for years made me forget that kind of thinking is still going strong.

Still, there's hope. The Roanoke Athletic Club recently was in the news for selling, then revoking a same-sex couple and their child's "family membership", even though "there's no all-encompassing legal definition of 'family' in Virginia". That sparked enough outrage that the RAC changed their decision and now allows a "household membership". Slowly but surely, things are changing.

It's with that in mind that I celebrate Richard Henegar Jr.'s decision to help out a young person who needed it. And it's why I hope Jordan Addison doesn't need to leave Radford. Roanoke's suffered from a brain drain for quite some time. A lot of people move away, for various reasons, but mostly because there's more excitement in a bigger city. And that's why cities continue to skew more liberal and rural areas more conservative; many people want to live where they're surrounded by others like themselves.

We need difference. We need diversity. Americans need to live side-by-side with other Americans who don't look like us, or think like us, or live the way we do, and learn that it's okay to disagree with our neighbors, as long as it doesn't keep us from loving them. I don't know what prompted Mr. Henegar to do what he did; I only hope that he inspires others in the Shenandoah Valley to similar acts of kindness, tolerance, and respect.
posted by dubold at 12:45 AM on August 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Perhaps an addendum to the "it gets better" campaign might be "it's never been better."
posted by ShutterBun at 2:53 AM on August 23, 2012


Roanoke's an interesting place. No, it's not the same as the Lost Colony, thanks for asking.

I was wondering if the vandals would end up keying "CROATOAN" into the side of the car.
posted by eoden at 7:09 AM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


(But more seriously, this was awesome beyond awesome.)
posted by eoden at 7:09 AM on August 23, 2012


I love it when a car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dude explodes all expectations and is completely awesome. What a great story.
posted by Phreesh at 8:00 AM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I emailed them, too. Man, I am an incurable optimist in times I shouldn't be, but dang if this doesn't give me hope.
posted by Madamina at 9:02 AM on August 23, 2012


Humanity at its best!
Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon's Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val's Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ's Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa all helped with the effort.
One of these things is not like the others. Okay, two.
posted by SillyShepherd at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2012


Also, those business that are also on Facebook? They show up immediately when you search for them, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback.
posted by SillyShepherd at 10:17 AM on August 23, 2012


SPrintF: That's what I wondered, when I opened my wallet to rebuild the Joplin Mosque.
Thanks for that link.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:43 AM on August 23, 2012


I e-mailed manager Richard Henegar, Jr. to thank him for 'paying it forward.'

If you're so inclined, you can e-mail Richard at this e-mail address: Jr@QualityAutoPaintandBody.com.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on August 23, 2012


I love it when a car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dude explodes all expectations and is completely awesome.

I love it when a car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dude gets so much positive press for being completely awesome that people begin to reconsider their expectations of car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dudes not being completely awesome.
posted by headnsouth at 3:08 PM on August 23, 2012


Of course I read that as "cat-lovin'." Of course I did.
posted by rtha at 3:33 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


As I work with a lot of car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dudes, I can attest that they are not all completely awesome. But enough of them are that I think it's bad form to stereotype them as anything other than being car-lovin', tattoo-wearin', blue collar dudes. Everything else (as with most of humanity) is up for grabs.
posted by hippybear at 7:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jordan Addison Richard Henegar, Jr. interview with Ellen Degeneris.
posted by ericb at 11:36 AM on September 11, 2012


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