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Pit Crew

Being Family as Car Guys

At 17, in 1973, I really wanted a car.  My dad told me I could have one, but he was not going to pay for it.  So I got a job, saved up $600.00 and bought a 1958 MGA for $600.00.  Since it broke all the time and I had no more money to pay to have it repaired, I registered at my local technical school and took a night class in "Foreign Car Mechanics" so I could learn to fix it myself.  My teacher was Tom. We have remained friends ever since and have really become family. 


Fast forward a few years.  I was a United Methodist Missionary in Nigeria with the assignment of creating a school of vocational education and teaching auto mechanics.  One afternoon at the workshop, one of my  students, JJ, asked me who taught me mechanics.  I told him all about Tom.  JJ asked me if I still kept in touch with him and I said "yes."  He wanted Tom's address so he could write him a letter.  He informed Tom that he had now become JJ's grandfather because he taught me and I taught JJ.  JJ said it was as if Tom was the trunk of the tree and I was a branch connected to the trunk and JJ was a branch connected to my branch.  Tom was quite honored to be JJ's grandfather.  No telling how many young Nigerian men JJ has now taught.  I've been away from there for many years now, but isn't it great fun to realize that cars not only provide all kinds of good things in our lives, but they, in some ways, connect us as if we're family, and just maybe we are.

Community Manager

What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing! It is amazing to see how automobile repair is such a universal language, it really does make us one family! 

Pit Crew

You're quite welcome Sajeev.  Yes it is really good, especially these days, with so much that tends to divide us, that something as simple as working on old cars provides a wonderful community and can include people that we never would have thought about, like my students in Nigeria.

Pit Crew

What a wonderful story.  This is a good example of the pebble in the pond.

Thanks for sharing

New Driver

A lot of us know the old saying, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

It is amazing that HE knows who, what, when, to put in our lives that help us help others. Of course, we know it is all part of the plan. Thank you for an inspiring story. 

Pit Crew

And isn’t it amazing how far those ripples can go from a tiny pebble?  Most of the time we never know. 

Pit Crew

Thanks RickL


The people I have crossed paths with over the years have been one of the best parts of my career. Quite a blessing.