When I hear the word hero I think of the men and women who serve in our military or of an everyday person who does something courageous to help a person in need or even Superman. But to think of a dry cleaner as a hero?
To many folks Steve Plantone, Manager of A Cleaner World in Hickory, is absolutely that. It’s amazing how even the smallest gestures can seem heroic to the person on the receiving end. Over the years, it has been common for Steve to get phone calls at home well after closing time from customers that needed their clothes. He’d happily meet them at the store. Then there are the elderly customers that either walk or ride the bus to do business specifically at Steve’s store, and he’ll drive them home with their cleaning. Recently a woman who lives in an apartment a few miles away called at closing time very upset because her daughter forgot to pick up her pants that she needed the next morning. Steve delivered them to her on his way home.
But my favorite story happened several years ago when a customer dropped off a brand new $400 silk dress that she had spilled nail polish on. Steve, along with his enthusiastic District Manager Mike Feudale, spent over an hour working on the dress by hand. They dry cleaned it and the dress came out looking like NEW! When the customer returned and saw the dress, she began to cry. She admitted that she fully expected a total loss. That day Steve was her hero. And to that I would say hero’s come in many forms.