DRESDEN, Tenn. — A local business opens after a life-changing event.
The business owner says he has a long history in Dresden and couldn’t stay closed any longer.
“I’ve been in business here in Dresden for about 50 years and it’s just something that Dresden has been my home,” said Donnie Essary, owner of Donnie Essary Automotive Center.
Essary’s auto repair business was destroyed by last December’s tornado that hit Dresden. Once past, his friend let him know that his business was gone.
“I finally had to walk all the way out here in the rain just to see what happened and then found out what he was talking about was gone,” Essary said.
Essary did not realize the extent of the damage until the following day.
“My truck was in there and it just made me sick I actually turned around and drove home and the next morning when I saw what it was it was way worse than what I even thought. He completely tore down that building and everything in it and everything around it,” Essary said.
He says he didn’t think too much about the business back then.
“I’m not hurt, my family is fine and as far as I know at this time no one else was hurt in town and I said this place can be rebuilt or just leave it as it is. what, clean it up and just have a vacuum, but the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t do that,” Essary said.
Four months later, Essary decided to reopen the business with something a little different.
“I put a swing set and a big porch here because I have a lot of people coming in and wanting to talk,” Essary said.
Donnie Essary’s auto center has been open since Monday and he says he is grateful for the support he has received.
“It means everything to me to be able to go out and see people and be able to help them,” Essary said.
He also says he’s ready to help as many people as possible, even if the business isn’t fully recovered.