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An editor's notes: On the sale of Geweke Toyota

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Rich Hanner

Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 3:03 pm

It was 1991 and I'd just finished a game of racquetball at Twin Arbors.

In the locker room afterwards, I struck up a chat with Daryl Geweke, a regular at the gym � and the patriarch of a family which ran several major businesses in Lodi.

I knew the Gewekes were opening a Toyota store, and mentioned to Daryl I was looking forward to taking my Camry there for servicing, versus driving it all the way to Stockton. 

"Do you need service for it soon?," he asked.

As a matter of fact, I did.

Daryl walked over to the house phone in the locker room, called the service department, and booked the appointment.

Right then, right there. 

Thus I became one of the first customers of Geweke Toyota. I was also present at the grand opening, covering it for my previous employer, The Record.

Since then, we've purchased three Toyotas at Geweke.

I like Daryl, and I like the idea of spending money locally.

So it's saddening to see the Toyota dealership being sold, the last dealership in Lodi to carry the Geweke name.

(As I write this, there appears to be some confusion. Daryl's son, Larry Geweke, sent over a press release Wednesday night announcing the sale of the dealership to the Lithia auto group based in Oregon. However, our reporter Wes Bowers told me a Lithia spokesman today denies a final deal, dismissing it as speculation.)

In any case, the Geweke empire in Lodi has dwindled. It seems the end of an era, an era built by a visionary entrepreneur who would take the time to personally make a call and set up a service appointment for a customer.

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