Between my car, da po’ wife’s car, and my work vehicle, we have suffered 11 flat tires since Katrina. Of those, six tires needed to be replaced.
Given my proclivity for collecting nails and screws with the inside of my tires, I quickly became aware of a shop in the 9th Ward [EDIT: Make that Bywater (I think) because it is upriver of the canal] on St. Claude that specialized in repairing tires. For a while, it was the only place close to the 9th Ward that could fix a tire. I never had to use its services, but I did notice on my many work trips to the Lower 9th the long line of customers that did need a good plugging.
During spring break, when many visitors were taking “the drive,” the line of cars with flats or slow leaks waiting to be fixed stretched a block and a half down St. Claude. Since many of those waiting looked like they weren’t from these parts and like the type of people that couldn’t change a tire on their own, I remember thinking the shop’s owner could charge whatever he wanted and those sorry suckers would pay it.
Little did I know that owner Joe Peters was a World Class NOLA resident:
I asked him if he raised his prices a little during that time. "Stayed the same," he answered. "$8.00 to fix a tire. Same today. I don't want to get rich on poor people."I recommend Joe Peters of St. Claude Used Tires for the position of New Orleans Recovery Czar. He's consistent and doesn’t want to get rich on poor people.