Every time a door is slammed in your face, a new door opens, and often leads in a better, if completely unexpected, direction.
For Elkhart used car dealer Mark Mancewicz that could be his life slogan, his mantra, a guiding wisdom to the path his life has taken for the last 43 years and to the roadmap he had has laid out for the future.
At 17, Mancewicz fled a physically abusive father in South Chicago and travelled to Indiana, on his own, without family. The door to his Windy City home forever shut behind him, but a new Indiana door opened.
There, he found new friends and a church family who took him in. He struggled, pumping gas in the daytime, cooking in a local restaurant at night, hanging drywall, working in greenhouses and chicken houses – whatever it took to maintain a precarious living – but he was on his own, escaped from the brutal abuse and free to discover what awaited him. Eventually, he found a better job, working for a fiberglass company, travelling the country and making good money, but even in the worst times since he abandoned his home, Mancewicz says, "It was better. I got lucky and got out. Abuse is terrible. It's reciprocating – it damages you spiritually and emotionally as well as physically, and it just keeps coming back."
Abuse is terrible. It's reciprocating – it damages you spiritually and emotionally as well as physically, and it just keeps coming back."
He always had been good with his hands, fixing everything around his home, including his first car, a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle with chrome bumpers he bought for $600 and kept running with a manual, a broken pair of pliers, a screwdriver and duct tape "until it finally blew up," he said. "I could adjust my own valves and take the engine apart. I learned how to do engine work.