by Bob Castle
If it takes a village to raise a child, it’s up to everyone in the village to create teachable moments. Anyone passing the Stockbridge Jr/Sr High School will take note of two particularly powerful messages. Flanking both battered sides of a mangled vehicle are signs reading, “DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE” and “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.”
John and Theresa Kightlinger, owners of My Body Shop, parked the vehicle and posted the signs on the east side of N. Clinton Street, about a stone’s throw from the school, as a visual reminder that driving comes with its own set of dangers.
“Any 2,000-pound chunk of metal hurtling down the road poses a risk,” Theresa Kightlinger said. “Now add faulty human behavior and driving becomes even more unpredictable.”
That’s what prompted the Kightlingers to set up this smashed pickup as a visual aid. And because their business is located near the high school, they hope the truck will serve as a reminder to new drivers and others to be careful and alert out on the road.
Originally from Wayne County, the couple visited Stockbridge some 20 years ago. While in town, they recall stopping at the pharmacy with their three children. One of the kids helped herself to a piece of candy without permission.A watchful employee caught the child and turned the incident into a teachable moment for their children.
Rather than feel offended at the store employee’s actions, these parents felt thankful. Their thought was, “Man, if the people of this town help parents look out for their kids and expect them to do right, it would be a nice place to raise kids.”
The Kightlingers purchased the former Stockbridge Collision in August 2016, and now they have their own business here. The shop specializes in ‘Gold Class’ body repair, is aluminum capable, and set up to make repairs to vehicles ranging from Mercedes to Ford Focus.
“We love it here,” John said. “We aren’t going anywhere.”
Those who stop at their friendly shop should prepare for a greeting from the Kightlingers’ lovable bulldog, Prema. And Trunk or Treaters have the Kightlingers to thank for initiating the annual Halloween event.
“We have slots available,” John said, and he encouraged readers to sign up.
Thank you, John and Theresa, for creating this visual teaching aid to remind all community residents of the importance of safe driving.