Books [Growing Up with the Automobile]
“I was luckier then most of the gang, though, for when I finished graded school my uncle - the same old geezer who used to give Mother his clothes to make over for us, sent me to a military school for two years. I could have finished the whole four year course if I had wanted to. But I didn't want to be a school teacher, and I didn't want to be a farmer. I wanted to be doing things with my hands. So I went to work in a blacksmith shop.
“I can remember now how rich I felt when my boss handed me ten dollars for my first week's work,” he said, “and I especially recall the first time I tried to shoe a horse all by myself. Want me to tell you about it?” he grinned. “Well, it was this way. I went down to work one morning, and there was one of the old farmers waiting for me.
“'Hi, there, you Bert!' he called, soon as he laid his eyes on me. 'What did you do to my hawse? Hit's so lame it canyt ha'dly walk this mawnin'.'
“Well, I went over, picked up its foot, and looked at it. It had a right to be lame, all right. I had nailed the shoe on backwards.
“It took me a long time to live that story down,” he said, with a rueful smile.
“Well, I stayed on in the blacksmith shop for a year or two, learning the trade. Automobiles were just coming in then, and the owners of the only two in our village sent them to us for repairs, so I had my first training as an automobile mechanic right in that little old blacksmith's shop.
“But I didn't care about being a blacksmith all my life. While I liked to