My Gratitude List would not be complete without thanks to the mechanics of my life!
Wherever I have lived, I have always sought out at least one mechanic within walking distance of my house. My main criteria have been their willingness to talk with me about my car in language that I can understand and a hesitance to fix everything under the hood when a modest repair would be sufficient.
Let’s see how many I can remember.
In Arlington, VA that was the teacher of a basic car repair class that John Reiter had taken. I don’t think I ever met him, nor can I remember his name. His greatest contribution was to advise us to replace the radiator on our Volkswagon Rabbit. Oh, and he recommended a mechanic to replace the whole engine when we had the misfortune of driving without the oil cap for 150 miles. (It was not entirely our fault as our lawyer friend, Tom Scheffey, argued, winning shared fault with the gas station attendant who closed the lid before any of us made sure the cap was on.)
In Evansville,IN, the Shell Station a few blocks away was staffed with mechanics who I relied on many times to fix our Chevy station wagon. They had a mechanic who would even drive over to our house to jumpstart the car!
In Atlanta, I made friends with Marvin Carson who owned a tire shop on the corner of our street. I talked with him about lots of things besides cars and tires, even though we did patronize his business for new tires and numerous plugs in the dozen years we lived there. Marvin repaired and sold the Chevy Century that my son, David, had acquired from my parents. The car had been stolen from David’s apartment parking lot, then found abandoned by the police, the steering column ripped up. We had decided not to invest in its repair, but Marvin paid us a bargain price for the car and fixed it up himself. He was a smart guy!
Marvin was good with cars but not so much with landscaping, and for several years, I kept an informal native plant garden growing on the hundred square foot hillside bordering his garage lot. My work helped beautify the corner a bit and gave me another place to put the native sunflowers and shrubs that had already filled our own yard.
For more extensive repairs in Atlanta, I relied on Mike Bellomo at Mighty Muffler right down the street from Marvin’s. He had a full service garage and I trusted Mike for giving us the service we needed. I even waited until I got back to Atlanta recently to have him explore the electrical system issue on my Toyota.
Mechanics are important! I’m grateful today that I’ve always found one I can depend on!