My gearhead dad.
My dad had to quit school in the eighth-grade. He said he’d would rather have stayed in school and play baseball for the school team and continue his studies. But his family needed him to work the farm because His father was down in north Texas working on a drilling rig in order to support the family and help keep the farm going.
However, with my dad’s education cut short he made the best of it and seemed to possess a good learned knowledge of farming. With his youthful strength and acquired maturity managing the farm at age fifteen still wasn’t easy. He had about a half dozen siblings to supervise as well.
One attribute he had in his farming resume he developed a good mechanical sense. My dad later was Able to take apart and fix most things and to my utter amazement make them work. Case in point. Twice my dad asked my brother and I back in 1957 then again, a few years later to help pull out an engine from an old 1937 Ford that our older sister had abandoned. The old Ford had an old flat-head V8 motor. Then we would disassemble the engine block, the manifolds, carburetor, all it’s wires hoses tubes and linkage and overhauled the entire engine.
Including replacing gaskets, boring the cylinders, replacing rings, and draining the old dirty oil. The complete ‘taking apart’ first started with rigging up an engine hoist in our garage in order the pull the heavy thing up and out. We would have to reenforce the overhead 2×6 wood ceiling-joist with two-four by four vertical wooden supports. Then hang the hoist mechanism and push the car into place and remove its engine hood and removable side panels.
But honestly, I was not too sure how this car and engine overhaul would turn out. But after pulling the engine out, disassembling it, doing all the necessary boring buffing and grinding, we managed to reassemble the engine and lower it back into the engine compartment of the old Ford. Put in the key, flip the start switch, and pushed the starter button and it started. It ran. And again, to my amazement. How did my dad know how to do this Years ago, he had lived on a farm with no tractors of trucks. But with one exception. My dad and his brother had jointly bought an old ‘Model A’ flatbed Ford, fixed it up, and got it running. And one would have to ask, how did they do that? They had no repair manuals back then.
But in the case of my sisters old abandoned car my dad had access of some manuals at the auto parts store. But still, one must have some kind of mechanical sense or mental concept of motor physics. An innate ability to envision how things ran. But I had to surmise he was just an Okie gearhead. He came with An inborn understanding of how mechanical things work. But I would have to admit automobile engines back then were a bit simpler and easier to repair. In retrospect we should had inscribed on his head stone, “I alone can fix it.” Well, not really. LOL