[Vwdiesel] Snobbery and Car Fixing

gary gbangs at cfl.rr.com
Wed Jun 16 09:48:20 EDT 2004

Uncool to work on cars?

For me it was a fact of life.
When I was a young buck in the Navy, I couldn't image paying the stealer
fees with the small pittance of a paycheck that I had. It was less
expensive to buy the tools and do the job myself.

It never bothered me to sit at the bar with dirty fingernails drinking
my beer. Many of my friends couldn't 'cause they were broke from paying
off the mechanic for whatever reason.

This mindset has carried into today.

Now I rebuild my own engines, rebuild my own suspension; lay my own
tile, frame my own walls, install my own carpeting, do my own electrical
work, HVAC repairs, plumbing... you name it. Practically everything
around the house. Since I retired from the Navy two years ago, with all
of the remodeling I have done, I have easily saved $20,000.

I take a certain pride in being self-sufficient.

I shudder at the thought of what most people are going to do if and when
another Great Depression or some other great catastrophe hits.

I'm not trying to brag. But I just don't see self-sufficiency in today's



On Wed, 2004-06-16 at 01:54, Val Christian wrote:
> Some of us have had an offline conversation about how it's 
> "uncool" to work on cars.  In many circles it is.  Trust me.
> As I was thinking about it this evening, it occured to me
> what happened in WW II.  Pictures of German tanks, broke
> on the battle field, with the TC, and Gunner sitting outside
> having a smoke, while they wait for the mechanics to arrive.
> I recall a tank warfare historian talking to us at Ft. Knox
> about how a differentiating factor between the German and US
> forces during WW II was that the yanks would try to fix just
> about anything.  The Germans wouldn't.  If it was broke, it
> was the mechanic's job to fix the tank.  And we'll wait until
> he can get here and do it.
> I've been told stories and seen pictures of a bunch of young
> soldiers pulling an engine from a jeep, using a tree in the field.
> Many young men in the 40's knew something about things mechanical.
> When we give up the flexibility and knowledge base and willingness 
> to understand and fix things, we are loosing far more strategically
> than we may realize.
> Val

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