Vocational Conclusion………..#55 (the 50’s)

High School Auto Shop

High School Auto Shop

        Entering the vocational shop,  the Teen’s first impression was the automotive smell.   Having completed a semester of mechanical drawing,  wood,  sheet metal, and  forge shop, during his 8th and 9th grade at Frick Junior High,  this would be his final vocation effort.   Participating in a semester of Auto Shop to familiarize the formal  basic essentials and add to his already acquired knowledge of the craft.   Most of the students were underclassmen,  but that was understandable as he had declined an earlier opportunity during his first year at Castlemont to enroll.   The teen once again broke stride with his classmate acquaintances and ventured down a different caliber path.    The collegium required work apparel,  which each student was required to purchase.   When donning the apparel,  sporting the Big Ben coveralls trademark,  once suited, Gary noticed a silence prevailed in the classroom and an atmosphere of professionalism seem  to engulf the group.   Gary interpreted,  the outer-wear garment symbolize a pronouncement of assertive recognition.
.    Mr Marinelly’s Auto Shop retained the same odor as Fletcher’s Signal Station,  that of oil and the solvent used for cleaning.  Like all vocational studies,  the course would start with a classroom  study before getting the students hands begrimed with the extracts associated with the automotive endeavor,  but was expected.   The class instruction started with the principle of the internal combustion engine and then propagated to its exponents,  the electrical system,  battery to spark plugs,  the fuel system,  gas tank to carburetor, the drive train and all concerning parts  in between.  The Teen inhaled a host of enlighten answers to long unanswered questions.   It was his first introduction to the stator,  rotor and basis of field generation motors and unlike some in the class ,  found everything interesting.   It would be six weeks before commencing the hands-on aspect of the class and an added disappointment to some,  transmission functions were part of the second semesters  curriculum.

Mr. Marinelly Auto Shop Instructor

Mr. Marinelly Auto Shop Instructor

     Gary was no stranger to laboring on a car,  he could grasp the function of specific part and now the mystery of its workings was revealed.   His time at Fletcher’s Station,  being cognizant to the hot rod generations   conversations enable a discernment to the automotive world.   The Teen experience 27 metal pan screws holding the oil pan on a 41 Chevrolet pickup,  counting  while  his Dads held the pan as he inserted them.   It wasn’t his favorite pastime ,  helping  Dad,  but ever since the 39 DeSoto needed a rod replacement,  he was elected.   His main objection wasn’t the assisting,  it was the timing that the teen objected to, it was  always a weekend when  Dad decided to become a mechanic.
.    The class finally reached the annum to  dwell into the mechanics of the engine  and to some there was disappointment,  all were Chrysler build flat-head six cylinder engines  mounted on  stands.   Mr. Marinelly was adamant  on the subject of safety and rumor circulated,  during a previous class,  a student failed to torque a rod bearing  properly and the push rod exited thru the side of the engine block nearly injuring someone.  The students were paired into teams and the instruction commenced,  learning to set the timing 5 degrees before TDC,  adjusting the distributor,  carburetor and finally getting dissembling parts of  the engine,  exposing  cylinders and valves.   Gary was compulsive in his work,  not because  of enjoyment, but to get it completed as a final exam was on the horizon.
.    The Teenager and his assistant,  it was how Gary silently referred to the other half of the two man team,  had no difficulty completing the first of the two-part test.   The first part was to remove the carburetor and the adjustment screws.  The second part was to  pull the pan, removing the bottom half of a rod bearing and insert.   Inserting a gauging strip, replacing the insert and bearing,  torquing the rod nuts to the require tolerance,  then  removing  it once again, measuring the gauging strip for tolerance and a final replacement of the rod bearing and insert.  The achievement of measuring the tolerance of the insert and assembly was 50% of their grade.   The second half was determined by the number of times it took for the engine to start.   The real test was replacing the carburetor air and fuel adjustment screws, and setting them so the engine would start and idle,  the class finding that no engine started the first time.   The determination for each teams test grade was determined when the engine started,   ” A ”  if on the first try,  “A-” on the second,  “B +” ,   then descending down to “F”.   The course completed,  Gary confirmed his mechanical skills were suitable, measurable as a shade tree mechanic,  but  he lacked the motivation and passion that those  in the profession possess.
.   Gary reasoned,  satisfaction can be gained from acquiring a skill,  but  knowledge is obtained from the skilled.


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