Page 26: Joe the Mechanic

It was no secret that Joe loved fast cars, from his Pontiac Duster that he used to drag race, to the Corvettes that he paraded around town.  It was probably his love for cars and their engines that made Joe decide to be an auto mechanic.  He took classes in the Twin Cities at Cummins headquarters and became a certified Cummins engine man.  Frank Stellar, owner of Stellar Motors in Elsmore, hired Joe on the spot. Joe had a reputation of working hard at whatever he did, so Frank knew that Joe would be a great asset to his shop.

As it turned out, Frank was right—Joe was the best diesel mechanic Stellar Motors had ever had.  It didn’t take long before Joe’s reputation spread throughout the region.  People came from hundreds of miles around because they only wanted Joe to work on their engines.  Not only was he a great mechanic, he had a memory like no one else—memorizing all the numbers in the auto parts manuals.  He never had to look up a single number—knew it right off the top of his head. 

People also came from miles around just to see how big and strong Joe really was. Legend had it that Stellar Motors didn’t need their truck jacks anymore because they had Joe. Many townspeople witnessed Joe picking up the rear end of a car by its bumper on more than one occasion.  In fact, one time, in high school, his friends saw him move a parked Cadillac Seville forward by at least a foot.

This was the Joe that Ted remembered, always showing off how strong he was, trying to be accepted as “one of the guys.”  During their high school days, in addition to picking up or moving cars, Joe would try to impress everyone by flexing his arm muscle and then slapping it so hard that another muscle would form on top of it. 

FACTS:  All true, according to stories told.

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