Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth) – Mark & Derek Veverica

Mark and Derek Veverica are the owners of Classic Auto Spa (the futuristic looking car wash on Camellia and Johnston). I met them when I took my car to get cleaned and was quickly hooked on their quality work and great customer service. When I got talking to them I learned about their passion and pride in both their work and in giving back to the community. You should really go and meet these guys – they have quite a story to tell.

What was your first job?
Mark: Working at a gas station when I was 15. I worked the midnight to 8:00 a.m. shift. One
night after a very physical football game a customer came in at 3:00 a.m. and had to
wake me up to pay for his gas.

Derek: Mowing grass for a lawn company during my summer breaks in high school

Describe a typical day in your life.
Mark: Wake up at 5:45 a.m., hit McDonald’s for breakfast, work till noon, lunch at Dwight’s,
work till 6:30 p.m., drive 25 minutes back to Carencro, read until bedtime.

Derek: I wake up at 6am and spend a few minutes on the porch letting my dog out while I mentally prepare for the day. When I’m finished, or my dog is, it’s back inside to get ready for work where I stay until 6pm. When the day is done, I head home to relax and eat the home cooked meal that’s waiting for me. After a little downtime with my girlfriend and our dog we get ready for bed and usually call it a night around 9:30.
What advice would you give the younger you?
Mark: Buy McDonald’s, Microsoft, Apple and Exxon stock.
Derek: Listen to the people that are older than you.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Mark: Spending summers in Michigan from 12 – 17 years old.

What values do you live by?
Mark: Do the right thing. Treat others as I would like to be treated.

Derek: Fully appreciate every moment and every person in your life; you never know when they will be taken from you.

What do you most appreciate?
Mark: My family

Derek: My family and friends.

What is your favorite journey?
Mark: Driving the boat out to my favorite offshore fishing spot.

Derek: Going to places that I’ve never been before and experiencing all it has to offer.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
Mark: Someplace comfortable with a really good book.

Derek: A deer blind.

What living figure most inspires you?

Mark: Norman Schwarzkopf and Elvis.

Derek: My dad.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
Mark: Don’t expect different results from doing things the same way.

Derek: “Look at each person in your life and truly answer if they are bringing you closer to or farther away from who you want to be as a man.”

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Mark: Tell No One – Harlan Coben

Derek: “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh

What is the best thing about where you live?

Mark: The pecan trees.

Derek: I’ve lived all over the US and believe that no place can compare with the Culture and food of South Louisiana.

How do you “let the good times roll”?
Mark: In Cocodrie on my boat with friends.

Derek: Traveling and relaxing with my wonderful girlfriend Jamie.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
Mark: Very old

Derek: A soldier

What is your motto?
Mark: Keep your word.

Derek: Live in the moment.

How would you like to be remembered?
Mark: Someone you could count on.

Derek: As someone who made a difference in others’ lives.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Mark: I ask myself what is the worst that could happen if I am wrong?

Derek: If you’re wrong, learn from it.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Mark: Humor, integrity, compassion

Derek: Compassion, integrity and passion

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Mark: State-of-the-art

Derek: Really? No really that’s the word I overuse

What is your favorite word?
Mark: Happy

What do you collect?
Mark: Rocks

Derek: Watches.

What food could you live on for a month?
Mark: Shrimp poboy from Chris’ Poboys.

Derek: Meat and rice and gravy

What would you change about yourself?
Mark: Be more patient

Derek: My level of acceptance

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Mark: Mr. Magoo

Describe yourself in five words.
Mark: Loyal, passionate, impatient, perfectionist, determined (or as others may refer to it “stubborn”)

What is your idea of happiness?
Mark: Being comfortable with who you are.

Derek: To be in true peace with myself, the environment and everyone around me

What is your favorite movie?

Mark: Saving Private Ryan – I believe every American should watch this movie. The price that others have paid for the freedoms we enjoy should never be forgotten or taken for granted.

Derek: Little Buddha

What music defines who you are?
Mark: Southern Rock N Roll

Derek: I’d have to say a mix between Rock ‘n Roll and Country

What do you most regret?
Mark: Not starting my own business 20 years ago.

Derek: Not listening to the people that were older than me

What question do you wish I’d asked?
Mark: Who are/were your mentors?

What would the answer be?
Mark: Donald Gunn, my uncle who was seriously wounded in WWII but never once complained. He taught me more by his actions than any other person in my life. He turned down a major league pitching career to join the U.S. Army. But most of all he was someone I could always count on.