At Autobody News, we often get requests for article coverage. Every once in a while, a request will stand out for one reason or another.
Recently, we received a heartfelt email from the son of the owner of Frog Hollow Collision in Bethpage, NY, that definitely got our attention.
"I read your publication every time it comes into the shop," Anthony DeMieri, Jr. wrote. "My father has been in this shop since 1977 when he came in here as a 17-year-old kid. He worked his way up and eventually was able to buy the company in 2000. He is now passing it on to me and my brother and is getting ready to retire soon.
We would love nothing more than having you guys come in and do a story about my father and the shop. The history of this business goes back to the ‘50s and is a great American Dream story. My father gave everything to this place, and I think it would be nice for the industry to recognize him."
Touched by the email, I reached out to Anthony DeMieri, Sr., 58, to discuss his 41 years in the collision repair industry and how it has changed since he began his career right out of high school.
"I was 17 and didn't know anything about this business, but I was willing to learn," he said. "I started out as a helper and absorbed everything I could. Back then, you pretty much had to do it all yourself, and luckily the owners at that time, Lou Miccio and Michael Ciampoli, were good teachers. Now, they have I-CAR and there is a lot of information out there, but back when I started, you pretty much had to jump in there and figure it out on your own."
After moving up the ladder by working hard and gaining more confidence along the way, DeMieri, Sr. became a body technician.