The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Shelby Taylor

Histories and mysteries of Goldendale businesses: Another fine fix


GETTING IT DONE: Deny Oesterling operates the Lil Tinker repair shop in the General Store.

Have you ever had a laptop that refuses to charge? After days of wiggling your charger around and around, searching for the sweet spot when it finally starts to charge, just to have it inevitably progress into an unchargeable hunk of plastic? Or gone to sit into your driver's seat and your phone miraculously jumps out of your pocket, taking an Olympic style dive into the pavement, leaving you frozen in fear, knowing when you flip it over the screen will display a new beautiful design resembling that of a spider web?

Well, instead of driving all the way to The Dalles to get some obnoxiously high rate to fix your product (typically about as much as I spent for the device), Lil' Tinker Repair in the General Store in Goldendale can replace your screen for around $70 (much cheaper than I've ever found) and replace a short in your charger jack for just about $40 (my most recent quote was $200 for a $300 machine!) In short (not like my charger, but in reference to my babbling), Lil' Tinker has the lowest rates, and not just in town, like, the lowest rates.

Lil' Tinker Repair, not to be confused with "Little 'Tinker," the 1948 MGM cartoon about a B.O. Skunk that repelled flowers and fans alike, opened its doors this January, started off mildly idling by, and for a time it looked like business wasn't going to pick up for owner Deny Oesterling.

The repair shop also focuses its attention on mishandled and/or malfunctioning devices, general fix-its, which include personal house calls and electronics such as: sound systems, DVD/VCR, computers, screen popped out on a screen door. It's a general fix-it.  

Oesterling's early career led him all over the country, living in places such as Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Louisiana, California, and eventually studied at the University of Washington Tacoma where he was a tutor in Statistics and Calculus. "I was known as the rocket man because the professor I tutored for statistics was a NASA rocket scientist," he added, "I truly enjoy teaching and helping students."

But how did Oesterling become associated with the General Store?

"About six or seven years ago I came in on a weekend to help fix my mother-in-law's outside faucet," he says. "I came in to The General Store looking for a gasket, but they only had the faucet. I looked all over town and couldn't find it. I told Jack [owner of the General Store], that if I couldn't find one, we'd be without water for the next two weeks until we came back to town. Jack said, 'Well, that's not going to work.' He gave me his home phone number, even though I had never met Jack before. He said, 'If you don't get it working, I'll come out there and help you. We'll get it working so that she's not without water.'" It's obvious that this interaction made a lasting impression on Oesterling. "I figured anybody that would go out of their way like Jack, then that was somebody I wanted to do business with."

"My dad always told me, 'If man made it, man should be able to fix it. If man didn't make it, then we should leave it alone.' and that's the way I live," says Oesterling.

If you're having computer, cell phone, or just general fix-it issues, be sure to call Deny Oesterling at 773-3690 and visit the website at

"Most of the time, people don't realize their computer is having problems until it quits." So don't wait until it's too late. Have your computer maintenanced for preventative action before it ceases living, as my many electronics have.


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