Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dads, Daughters,and Cars

Those of you who know me know my dad was not a hands-on kind of dad. He was really a crotchety old fart, but he did make an impression in his own special way.

One of the things I took from my dad was his love of tools. My dad built cars, worked on cars, and in his later years, tinkered around cars. He had his own set of Craftsman tools that he took a lot of pride in owning. If one of us kids got into his tools for anything, if it wasn't cleaned and put back where we took it from, there was hell to pay! Dave will attest that this aspect is one I live by even today.

Even though I can't share with you a sweet story of how my dad and I rebuilt a near dead, classic Chevrolet Camaro that turned out to be my 16th birthday present (Oh, how I wish I could tell you that story!), I can tell you that there wasn't anything my dad couldn't do with a car. I watched him in our garage over haul engines, replace starters, rotate tires, and sometimes just change the oil.

One of my fondest memories was hanging out in the garage in the dead of winter, rain pouring outside, a little space heater under his table, and classic country music crackling over the AM radio. He would sort-of sing while he worked on cars and if he didn't know the words, he would whistle. I can remember the hot and cold spots in the garage, the way the radio station didn't come in all the way, and most of all, the smell of the car itself; the dirty grease, the clean motor oil, and gasoline. Even the goopy hand cleaner you used with just a rag and no water.

It's no wonder I grew up and made some of my best friends men. Mike in particular filled in the answers that my dad couldn't give me. Mike has guided me through oil changes, replacing brake pads, changing out a starter, and even replacing a radiator (that one he did long distance over the phone!). I have my own set of Craftsman tools now and like my dad, if you use them, clean them and put them away! My dad may not have shown me how to do these things, but he certainly taught me that I could!

1 comment:

Big Mike said...

You were a good student.