ANDERSON — Frank Hajny, 75, leaned against a wall inside his Harley-Davidson repair shop and shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his jeans. The room smelled sweetly of old motor oils and lingering exhaust fumes.
A room filled with memories.
“Although I didn’t want to, I think it’s time,” Hajny said looking around the room still filled with tools and inventory.
On Saturday, Hajny closed Cycle Machining Co. Inc., 1619 Silver St., after 30 years of business.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” he said, “sometimes it feels like losing a loved one. It’s the only thing I knew.”
Hajny has been working on Harley-Davidson motorcycles for more than 53 years.
“We did everything here except paint,” he said.
A downturn in the economy and competing with those who work out of their home garages with no overhead made it impossible to keep his doors open, Hajny said.
“The last five years have been pretty tough,” he said. “The cost of business keeps going up and the sales and income are down.”
Hajny popped an eight-track cassette into a dusty player and a scratchy Beatles song filled the room. A sign on a nearby shelf read, “God, I love this business!”
The 5,000-square-foot building is a maze of working stations and rooms filled with old and broken parts.
“With Harleys, you never throw anything away,” Hajny said looking at a box brimming with shiny exhaust pipes.
No one will lose their job with the closing of Cycle Machining. For more than 22 years Hajny ran the shop with only the help of his son-in-law who recently took a job in Chesterfield.
What will be lost, he said, is the opportunity to work with his customers, many who have become close friends.
“l will miss some of the people,” he said with a smile. “Not all of the people.”