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Monthly Archives: July 2009

The topic of college roommates just came up in a discussion, it was about the daughter of a friend who is just entering college and can’t understand why all her roommates don’t want to decorate the dorm room the way she wants too … and possible parent intervention!?
I hope not.
I recall my freshman year at college, my roommates were Adam, a minority from inner city Saginaw who was a political science major whose goal was to be president of the United States … Dave, a computer science major from Mt. Clemens, just outside of Detroit, known as the organized crime capitol of Michigan, his father was a scissor sharpener (annual income of  $6,000 he told me), he did work for local barbers etc … Tom from Sandusky, a small rural farm town in Michigan’s thumb … and me, a middle class white boy.
I would hope that the diversity of roommates was intentional, part of the educational process.
No parents allowed!

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Today is Jason and Ken’s last day. Jason is Randy’s son, Randy has been with us since 1971, Jason 1994. Ken came to us by way of Louie, who has worked here since 1969, Ken and Louie’s wives work together. When Bob retired 7 years ago after 49 years of service Louie mentioned to Ken that we were looking for a mechanic and that it’s a good place to work, Ken’s family business was closing, an independent automotive repair shop that consisted of Ken and his father.

Jason and his dad have worked side by side for 15 years, when you work with your dad you become very close, I know. It’s a thing that even my brother and sister recognized as being unique and special. We have had many father and son teams who have worked here over the years, 6 of our remaining 18 employees were part of such a combination, myself included … Randy and Jason will be the last.

When I started working in the service department in 1977 Randy taught me how to brew my own beer, he shared with me a book he had and some old equipment. We would occasionally sneak some home brew sampling in the mechanics changing area, a dark little basement room.

My Dad told me the story of when Randy started just out of the army, that Don, one of our salesmen at the time would say hi to Randy walking by him everyday, for some reason Randy ignored him. Don finally said to him “you son-of–a-bitch, say something to me, even if it’s ‘go to hell’”. Randy started saying hi after that.

Don was/is the uncle of Fred our only salesperson remaining. Fred started in 1971 also. My Dad found some weed of mine when I was in high school, he brought it to Fred, the hip kid on the sales team, to verify what it was. Dad told me one of the guys at work knows a policeman that was disposing of it and I was lucky that I wasn’t getting in more trouble because of it. Fred in recent years told me his side of the story, he verified what it was and offered to dispose of it … which he did with enjoyment.

I think of Louie as our resident philosopher, most people call him Bill … that’s what it says on his shirt, his first name is Louis, middle name Charles, I have no idea where the name Bill came from. I’ve always liked his humor and perspective on things …. statements like “the only reason we’re all here is because we’re ‘not all there’” and “I got a Dunlop belly, it’s done lopped over my belt” … he’s a wealth of knowledge, we’ve had conversations about many things. Most recently when all the economic turmoil hit we were talking about it, he said “sometimes you just have to go outside and lay on your back in your yard … look at the clouds, look at the stars … it puts everything in perspective, it reminds you what is really important in life”.

These are the gentlemen who have kept our community mobile … changing oil, engine tune ups, transmission repairs … all with devotion.DSCF0399

bigsign1984“It was a bright cold day in April … “

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This week will be difficult, it will bring inside our building what has happened on the outside … and what has happened on the outside has visually brought to the attention of our community the reality of the changing landscape of the auto industry. Our lot is empty but for a few vehicles, the last of our new car inventory, a lot that for 85 years has been covered with new cars waiting to be sold … sold to individuals and families.

This week 5 people will leave our organization for new jobs … that will reduce the number of employed to 18 … three months ago we had 27 … three years ago we had 34.

I’m happy new jobs are being found, the seeking has been encouraged, they have kept me informed of their progress, the people who work here and in some cases by where they are seeking employment. This information sharing has been done to ease the transition of our business, it says a lot about the quality of people I’m surrounded by. No less than 30 days notice has been given by those leaving, and in one case 60 days, it’s a difficult change that nobody wants to happen … but it will this week to a degree that it has not in the past.

So inside we will start feeling as empty as it looks on the outside.

Roscoe08-10-31edit

Z: We are actually the same note, but …
Roscoe: But different octave.
Z: Right. We are 4,928 octaves below the big note.
Roscoe: Are ya … are you trying to tell me that … that this whole universe revolves around one note?
Z: No, it doesn’t revolve around it; that’s what it is. It’s one note.
Roscoe: Everybody knows that lights are notes. Light is just a vibration of the note, too. Everything is.
Z: That one note makes everything else so insignificant. Everything in the universe is … is made of one element, which is a note, a single note. Atoms are really vibrations, you know, which are extensions of THE BIG NOTE …
Roscoe: Everything’s one note. Everything, even the ponies. The note, however, is the ultimate power, but see, the pigs don’t know that, the ponies don’t know that …

RoscoMike2Roscoe is a small furry creature of unknown origin.

It is known that he entered this realm on October 31st … Halloween … All Souls’ Day … Samhain.

At first I denied his existence … we tend to ignore each other for the most part … but he is observing me, and I him … I have seen that he is intelligent and sensitive, with an almost human expression … he watches me when I enter a room, his eyes follow me, as if he’s trying to remember where we know each other from. This blog explores those possibilities … past, present & future.