It’s never happened before in the history of Professional Carwashing & Detailing, to put a picture of a person on the cover and make that person the subject of the cover story. But, with the passing of Sonny Fazio, it had to be done. There was no way around it. And, it isn’t just in tribute to him as a person who truly was an industry icon, it is also in tribute to the old-school way of doing business, when a handshake was as good as a contract. When putting in hard work didn’t come with expectations of a raise or a promotion. Sonny Fazio was a businessman through and through. He loved going to work. He loved helping others to succeed.
I met Sonny Fazio back in 2008 when I was taking a CarWash College course. My classmates and I were touring the SONNY’s factory when all of the sudden, Sonny appeared out of nowhere and told all of to follow him. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity. What struck me immediately was how fast he walked. Some classmates, including me, could barely keep up. He walked through the facility with pride. He knew every corner of the building and everything that was being constructed. He talked to all of us as if we were the most important people in the room. “I think that if you’re going to do something in life,” he told us, “do it better than anybody.”
After the final day of the five-day course, we were all treated to a luncheon. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Sonny. He made a point of talking to everyone at the table. He spoke with enthusiasm of the carwashing industry and applauded for us when we accepted our certificates. When the restaurant got more quiet, I told him about my life outside of the magazine. I opened up about my family and how my mom had passed away back in 2005. He opened up to me about missing his wife. I told him I was sad for my dad and how I was still grieving. He said, “It is so hard, I know what he’s going through.” It was then that Sonny Fazio became more than an industry icon. He became a lifeline.
I think in honor of Sonny, we can all do our part to make sure we’re living by his dogma: To make sure we’re doing our job better than anybody.
Until next time,