I never learned about gasoline engines of any sort until I was a senior in high school. I was down in the shop region, where up to this time I had avoided. RABBIT TRAIL- when I was in jr. high, I had a shop class and I was not good in it at all. C+ on my windmill because my paint was running all over the place. Couldn't measure right, (still a challenge today) so, I figured that just was not my bag; that is until my senior year. There was a class called Power Mechanics that taught about gas engines. Since I knew diddly about this subject, I thought this would be a good thing. Heck, I didn't know a cam shaft from a crankshaft. Do you? :-) We got to take apart our parents lawn mower to "practice on". That sucker never ran the same again. I'm not talking about an improvement here. Mr. Bergram managed to teach me about how an engine worked and the parts of it. This knowledge carried over into my adult years where I have tried to do as much repair and maintenance as possible on my vehicles. Some of my children have benefited from that knowledge. I used to replace mufflers and exhaust pipes, shock absorbers, spark plugs, adjust lifters, adjust carburetors and even replace a cam shaft with the help of a friend. Now, with all the computers in cars/trucks, the most I still can do is change the oil and filter. On a sad/dad note, I have failed to pass along this knowledge to some of my boys. The story goes where I had one of my male fruit of the loins come out and check his oil. "How would we do that, dad?" I said, "first take out the dip stick". "And where would that be?" I had come short of preparing him on the workings of the automobile terribly. He knows now and even the daughters know. There is still time!
Second story has to do with the education from an adopted father by the name of Dave Wilcox. When I first came to Amery, Dave took me under his wing and taught me how to run a chain saw. How to sharpen it, the dangers of it. I even learned the hard way the files used to sharpen the chain wear out. Wondered why I just could not get the saw to cut. He taught me the fine points of splitting wood. What you don't know about splitting wood, the wood will teach you. This whole wood topic must be the theme of another blog but this baby is getting long, so I will sign off