I knew it was January because another car engine sat in our living room.
After the excitement of Christmas faded, my restless mother decided to rebuild our 1970 Grand Prix. She didn’t have a shop or a mechanics education, but she did have a library card and a neighbor who would answer countless questions for a case of beer.
Mom’s fascination with mechanics began with an old gasoline powered washing machine. At six, she disassembled the monstrosity and stacked the pieces together in the most sensible arrangement she could think of. When she reported her experiment, her irate father insisted she put the washer back “the way she found it.” Mom assembled the pieces more convincingly, and plotted her next mechanical adventure.
In the 1970s, the family passion was underwater photography. Factory-made underwater camera housings never satisfied Mom. She had no tolerance for poor design or awkward functioning. To meet…
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