- Jul 5, 2012
- Reaction score
- Cleveland Tx
Free labor for all the grunt work means ya can work cheap. Dad had a full time job, rotating shift at Humble refinery, which meant he could only work on vehicles before or after work and weekends and all his customers understood that, but there was always a list for first, my 2 older sisters, then my brother and I when we got old enough (12-13 yrs old) to do after school. My 2 sisters were SOO glad when Ron and I got old enough to earn our keep. My youngest older sister could run the Sioux valve and seat grinding machines as good as any man could. She hated it, as a teenage girl, having dirt and grease under her fingernails but she was good at it.Wow . He was working cheap ...wonder what the hourly rate was?
The very FIRST thing brother and I learned was bolt, washer and nut sizes and we learned by sorting out a crapload of old nuts and bolts that dad had in old ww2 wooden ammo boxes. At first, with a wrench to size them and a marked piece of metal with different size holes drill in it until we got good enough to do it just by sight. (there were no metric size anything in those days) Next was changing spark plugs (or removing, cleaning and reinstalling them if the customer just wanted them cleaned. Then on to oil changes. Then how to do exhaust pipes and mufflers and then, to major engine work and finally, transmission and rear end work. I learned to weld when I was about 13. I know I was 14 when helped dad build the 16' steel gate that still hangs on the entrance to this place closest to the river. Easy welding since it was solid cold roll and not pipe.
Remember too, cars were much simpler to maintain in those days. One of those above was a 40s something Chevy. Nothing much to changing those control arm bushings back then, except for reaming out the bronze bushing inserts the rubber goods sat in.
Dad did that reaming part. NOBODY touched his set of adjustable precision reamers!!
All that changed when he bought land in the early 60s and we started running cows. More work added to what we were all already doing, but it was all good.
(except the friggin seed ticks! )