From dreams to destruction: Diesel Dick’s owner stays positive looking towards the future

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — After losing nearly everything, a long-time Bloomington business owner says he still has his faith and his family.

After a fire destroyed Diesel Dick’s, located at 508 N. Madison Street in downtown Bloomington, Alan Dick is not going to let that steal his joy.

Dick opened his auto repair shop with his wife back in 1980, and moved into the Madison Street location in 1986. Because while it may have taken his business away from him for now, he still has the most important things in life.

“It’s been a wonderful place. Just a wonderful place. Our dreams and my life has been here,” Dick said.

But after the destructive fire, those dreams became memories.

Alan Dick lost all his tools, supplies and four of his customers’ cars. While Alan experienced all of this loss, he still counts himself lucky.

“I got a dozen of phone calls before I got out of the house. I was woken up by 911, they were worried about my son. My son lives in the apartment on that corner of the building, and they couldn’t contact him,” Dick said.

Luckily, Alan’s son was not home. And while Diesel Dick’s and his son’s apartment are now scattered bricks and ashes, Alan still plans to rebuild.

“Plans now are to demolish this, see what our options are. I need a place to work but I’m not going to be able to open my shop in the next month,” Dick said.

Although Alan doesn’t know what the future holds, he says he has his family, and that’s all that matters.

“God loves me, my children love me, and my wife loves me also. That’s hard to come by,” Dick said.

Alan says to stay in the same location on Madison Street in Bloomington, he has to rebuild in the next year due to a city ordinance. He was able to save his infamous Diesel Dick’s sign, and he said he will know more about his next moves hopefully in the next month.

But no matter what happens, he will always have his identity.

“I’ll always be Diesel Dick. It’s tough, but it’s going to be okay. Good things come from all things. Always do. I can keep that in my heart, I have my family, I have the community, I have my church,” Dick said.

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