Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Growing Up with the Automobile]
“When people pay from fifteen hundred to five thousand dollars for an automobile as they did in those days, they expect it to last a long time. And they expect repair bills to come high. They repaired and repainted their cars, just as they repaired and repainted their homes.
“Many a time “I've given a man a bill for as much as eight hundred dollars for overhauling his machine, and had him hand me a check for the entire amount. Nowadays if you charge a man fifteen or twenty dollars, he acts as if you were a highwayman, and you don't got paid in full either. Usually be comes in on the fifteenth and pays you five dollars on account, and acts like he is doing you a favor to pay you anything at all.
“Of course, everybody isn't like that. But I'm telling you this, so you can see how different times are now from when they were twenty years ago.
“Yesterday people bought automobiles. Today they buy cars. There's a lot of difference between the two if you come to think of it.
“I've made big money in my day. Once I had the agency for a certain truck. Every time one of that company's trucks was sold in my territory I get a fat commission. I lived high then!
“Right now I'm having a pretty thin time of it. Business is bad, and seems to get worse for me instead of better. I think one cause of this is that when you can buy a good car for six seven hundred dollars, a man would rather turn his in at the end of a year, and get a new one, than bother about having repairs made. And of course, repair work is my living.