October, 2010: I quit my seemingly terrific day job.
“You can’t quit! You own this place!”
“Watch me. I’m gonna go play with cars.”
I’ve had a thing for cars since I was very young. According to the baby scrapbook thing that my parents kept to document my progress, my first word was car. It’s right there… next to the lock of hair from my first haircut.
I remember having a small fleet of Matchbox cars and spending more time admiring the shapes and curves and how the parts so cleverly fit together than actually playing with them. This is still true twenty five years later.
When I was a young teen, I just could not wait for my sixteenth birthday. And I didn’t. I think I was 14 when I got my first real car. This demarcates the beginning of an actual hoarding problem. I sometimes own as many as six vehicles at a time now in adulthood. Most of them odd, but all of them have those admirable shapes and curves and parts that so cleverly fit together.
My curiosity of how car parts work together, I think, has led me to become the mechanic that I am. I’m so intrigued by the science that I sometimes spend hours at a time patiently reading geeky trade publications like they’re romance novels. I’ll diagnose a problem like I’m solving a murder mystery and then I’ll dissect and reassemble that engine as though it were some 3-D brain teasing jigsaw puzzle.
I enjoy squeezing every last mile out of automobiles and I do that with curiosity, intelligence, and by being “relentlessly patient.”
These are my more significant automotive accomplishments:
My day job is within Massachusetts’ Vehicle Inspection Program,
where I manage a Motorist Assistance facility in Pittsfield, Mass.
I also teach inspectors and assist all sorts of folks
with all sorts of state inspection issues.
I’m a 2011 Graduate of
Porter & Chester Institute’s Automotive Technology Program.
I have been a licensed Massachusetts vehicle inspector since 2011.
Now I literally teach that class and I’ve helped revise the book.
One time, I changed a heater core in an Audi
and I didn’t have a single bolt left over.