My First Ever( Kind of) Car Story


On my first day of high school I ended up in an Auto Shop class because of a scheduling mistake.

After about 15 minutes in the school office I decided to go to Auto Shop because there really wasn’t anything to do except sit there on one of those orange plastic chairs in the counseling area ( which was pretty busy ) and stare at the wall until the bell rang and I could go to one of my real classes.

When I wandered in, the class was outside in back of the shop and spread out on the ground were car parts. Some looked new (ish) others- to coin a phrase – were in advanced stages of decay and other parts were still attached to other parts.

The Shop teacher asked us to ID the numbered parts on a piece of paper, and hand the paper to his assistant.

Only 4 students out of the 18 got all the parts correctly identified and yes friends and neighbors I was one of those four.

The Shop teacher ( who knew I wasn’t really signed up for the class ) asked me if I was sure I didn’t want to take the class and I said no- the class I was supposed to be in was Russian History.

” Come on, ” he joked ” studying Russkies isn’t going to add up to much in life, but knowing how to work on cars will.”

I’ll have to admit, it would have been handy to have stuck it out in Auto Shop, but now days my Jeep, like a lot of cars is computerized and it tells me what’s wrong with it when there is an issue.

On the other hand, my Russian history class- and who would have guessed this over 40 years later, has turned out to be far more useful.

The Thinker – Rodin’s studio, 1900

In case your wondering how I knew the names of all of those parts- it’s not because I was into cars. I had spent the summer helping some of my neighbors clear our their junker cars and scrap metal from their lots and as a bonus, if I helped haul it away I got a cut of of the recycle payout. It doesn’t seem like a lot of cash now,but back in 1979 it was.

So anyway, I got a crash course in car parts. I couldn’t tell you what any of them did or where they went though.

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