Friday, January 28, 2011

Handyman and Mechanic


Being a ‘handyman’ has its advantages. It saves money, but more than that it saves time. When we rented, and something broke, if I could fix it I would. Otherwise we had to arrange for the house to be open for the repairman and usually you want to be there. That meant getting off from work etc. So I would rather fix what I can, if it’s mine or the other guys.


Mechanics are different now-days.  In days gone by a handyman could pretty well keep a car going with common sense a pair of pliers and some bailing wire. Friend Dallas once changed an Oldsmobile engine with a pair of pliers, vice grips, an adjustable wrench screw driver and a hammer.


That is me& Gary , oh yeah, Sherry to my left, Debbie and Terri!

I get frustrated because many things I cannot fix now. Most old mechanics will agree, it is not as much fun to work on the newer cars. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary, a mechanic and great guy. Indirectly I met him thru this blog. He happens to know Debbie pretty well, so he reluctantly tagged along when we met them out in Kentucky. He was relating that being a mechanic now has become more frustrating. He struck me as being a lot like me except a lot smarter ‘in mechanics’. (I couldn’t say completely smarter it would hurt my ego, but he probably is! Ha!)


This is me showing off my tool compartment to Gary. He was nice and smiled thinking (Yeah, Jack, I have that many tools in my backpocket!)  LOL (I still have that shirt and I’d bet Gary still has his!)

Gary knows what it is like to raise a hood and grunt to himself. I do the same thing, but I shut the hood and take it to a guy like Gary. He can’t shut the hood, he has to do SOMETHING. I take my hat off to a guy like that who can and must, continue to advance with the changes of the day. Me? I just tell Sherry we need to buy a 1955 car and fix it up!

I think of the advice Jimmy gave a customer, “Take it down town park it and leave the keys in it with the doors unlocked!”

I forgot my point, if there was one. Thanks for coming by the log.

Nite Shipslog



1955 MG Roadster (Loved this car, never got it though!)

Something heard the year these cars were new.

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball?
It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be
making more than the President.

1955 Morris Oxford

1955 Morris Oxford


Fred Alton said...

Wow! Just look at that old Morris Oxford. Frances and I bought a new one in 1966 from Booker's, Ltd. Our first one ever to see - and the steering wheel was on the right side of the vehicle. It got 30 mpg on fuel, had an electric starter - or one could crank it with the crank provided in the "boot"! You wonder why we are just now getting round to having cars come off the assembly line that will regularly get 30mpg?

Anonymous said...

It is said that humankind is intelligent, because of having fingers. And yes, I spend as much time as possible to 'build, fix and make things' now with my son, and he still can't understand when things are broken, impossible to be fixed. ah ! young life.
Please have a good weekend you all.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I can remember how easily most thing were fixable now in a lot of cases it is better and cheaper to buy new. Not cars but lots of other things.

shirl72 said...

You are right about things changing. I still
don't know where my motor is much less the
spark plugs. I do know where the expensive
gas goes. What upsets me they say things are made better but they break in about 3 months.
Clothes don't even last as long. I just wish
everything was still made in the USA.


Jean said...

Grover use to be able to fix things around the house. He could work on the old model cars and trucks, but the newer models sometimes I wonder if the shops that do work on them can. My daughter-in-law took her van to a dealers shop and it took them 3 weeks and when she got it back it still wasn't running right she had to take it back again.

Y said...

Let's hear it for the handy men! You guys are the reason for the old saying, "It's so nice to have a man around the house."

Helen said...

My Dad used to be a top notch mechanic is his day. The newer stuff was coming in before he was forced to quit due to his age and condition. I think of him lots of times when we have auto problems, "now daddy could fix that if he were still around". It's good to be able to fix things and not have to pay a large sum to have someone else do it. You will get a grin out of this.
Once when I was single, water was coming from my car, I had just finished putting gas in it. I looked in the dash, got out my trusty steak knife and a wrench, then undid the radiator cap, used my wrench to unfasten the clamp, took the knife and cut off the end of the big hose, reattached the hose and was tightening the clamp back in place, noticed a man standing pretty close to me. He looked at me and said" I was going to offer to help you but I see that you know what you are doing" my reply was yes I do but thanks. He just turned away and left. Not a big job but I got er done.

Helen said...

PS when my Dad's hands got crippled so that he couldn't work on cars lots of times he would show me what to do to mine and my hands would be his, following his directions. Helen

Ken Riches said...

I remember the days of fooling with the carb, changing the oil, doing what it took to keep a clunker running. Not a chance now.

Debbie said...

Gary got a chuckle out of you saying he knows me pretty well. And yes he still has that shirt and wore it last weekend, as a matter of fact he still has that whole outfit minus the belt & shoes because they were so worn out he couldn't wear them anymore. He enjoyed the trip to meet you & Sherry as much as we did and I remember him liking the way you had your tool compartment set up.

One of the most frustrating things for Gary is the customers. They think you can just pop the hood take a quick look & listen or just throw a scanner on it and give them an instant diagnosis. With all the bells & whistles on vehicles nowaday diagnostics can take him hours to trace down the problem and many customers think he should do this for nothing and often get in their vehicle and leave without so much as a thank you after he tells them what the problem is and gives them an extimate of how much it will cost to fix it. Another thing that frustrates him is he doesn't like anyone standing over his shoulder while he's working on a vehicle because he needs to concentrate on what he's doing and some people do him this way though the customer isn't supposed to be in the garage for insurance purposes..the sign on the door doesn't stop them from walking right in and making themselves at home.

I could go on and on but it boils down to a good mechanic is under appreciated and under paid. Tools are very expensive and mechanics must provide their own tools. Gary's coworker was using one of Gary's tools a few weeks ago because he's young and hasn't got his tools built up yet and the tool broke while he was using's a tool Gary uses almost everyday..the cheapest replacement Gary could find was $200..and yes that comes out of our own pockets. Gary is on constant look out for good used tools.

Gary does enjoy the challenge of being able to fix the newer vehicles and has been fixing many that the dealers can't even fix. He feels there is a great need for mechanics and it would be a good field of work for some of these younger kids to go into because there will always be a need for mechanics. The mechanic classes in the schools here only cover the basics like how to change oil or check fluids so there is a greater need for more advanced classes especially is this day and age where vehicles change each year. Gary is self taught and it's a constant learning experience with hands on work and hours of studying on his own. That being said..he told me if the starter ever goes out on my Car which is a '94 he has no idea how he can get to it to fix it because of where it's placed under my motor..sure hope he doesn't have to find out..hahahaha.

Love ya'll

Debbie said...

Dang lost my comment! I forgot to say that Gary said he knew a guy who had a 1955 Morris Oxford and he couldn't find a distributor for it so he took one off a Pontiac and rigged it up so it would work. Sure can't do that now.

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