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Say goodbye to D&M Auto

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NORTH BEND — Anyone who needs an oil filter or a socket

wrench had better hurry up because D & M Auto parts in North Bend is closing.

Don Oster and family have owned the business for 26 years and will

see decades of hard work come to an end on May 20, the last day of operation.

But Oster said he is looking forward to a change of pace, and

instead of throwing a going out of business party, he plans to just mow the lawn.

"I promised the wife that after 25 years in the business, I would get

out so I could pursue other interests," he said.

Those hobbies include fishing, bike riding, hunting and enjoying

his four grandchildren. Oster also belongs to several clubs, including

Kiwanis and fishing groups. And he deserves to enjoy some free time, since he

has been D & M's only employee for the last six years, working six days

a week, with no lunch breaks.

However, Oster said he is not retiring.

"It's been a great ride, but now this ride is over and it's on to a new

ride," he said.

Oster is going to work for Randleman Realty in Snoqualmie

and said it will be a relief to have someone else pay the bills and worry

about lease payments. Quite a change from the reason he started his business

years ago.

"I got tired of working for the `other guy' and wanted to be my

own boss," he explained.

The Osters opened their business in April 1974 and the initials D &

M have stood for many things since then, starting with "Don and Mike."

Mike is Oster's oldest son, now 34, who worked there for years before

going into the Air Force. Then the "M"

stood for "Mark," the youngest Oster

son, now 29. He eventually decided that the auto parts business was not for

him, which transferred the "M" over to "Mom." Then the "D" stood for "Dad."

Although the name went through many changes, the business has

stayed mostly the same. The 5,000 square foot D & M offered "everything

automotive" and Oster said the company has been more successful than

the family originally anticipated.

"We never thought that we'd have a store this large with this much

merchandise," he said, adding that the business has allowed him to

meet many people. Upon reflection, Oster will miss his customers the most.

"I will miss the people and the challenges we sometimes faced

trying to figure out what part they needed or what was wrong with their car,"

he said.

"I want to thank the community for allowing us as a family to assist

with their automotive needs and look forward to helping them with their

real-estate and housing needs."

George and Jean Macris, who own Nature's Marketplace next door to

D & M, said they will miss the Osters.

"[Don's] been a great, helpful neighbor for the past many

years," Jean Macris said.

Susan Hankins, the director of the Upper Snoqualmie Valley Chamber

of Commerce said D & M Auto has been a valuable part of the North Bend

business community.

"Nothing can replace Don Oster's character that has come to be

known on the main street of North Bend," she said. "But we know that we'll still

hear from him."

After D & M closes next week, an auction will be held on June 3 to

clear out the merchandise.

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