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The Tire Changer,

In high school one of my part time jobs was pumping gas at a 'service station' and one of the most common other jobs I performed was fixing flats by patching, no plugs allowed.

So unmounting and remounting tires on wheels was kinda ingrained into my psyche.

Looking ahead to my possible future of messing with cars and the advent of 'mags' and chrome wheels of my own I knew I'd never be able to trust the tire changers of the day, so I determined I had to have my own tire changer just for my own protection.

In 1970 I happened to be aware of and in position to buy a manual tire changer from the Vickers station on south west street which was going to a new pneumatic machine .

That changer became one of my most cherished possessions. It gave me confidence of being able to fix my own flats, mount my own tire and wheel combos that many 'experts' would refuse to do. Saved money, saved having to deal with 'experts' and 'neer do well' tire changers.

Moved and mounted that changer to the floor of all the garages in my life, it almost seemed like part of my identity. The feeling of security is really hard to describe. Being able to buy tires of my choice at places of my choice was a real treat, when places like Tire Rack came along I was set.

Coincidentally at about the same time I bought the tire changer I had also come across a good deal on a 'on the car' spin type tire balancer just like the one at the garage I apprenticed at when the GEM store auto dept was selling out, but passed on it and regretted that most of my life. I did eventually buy a fairly decent bubble balancer to use.

So fixing flats and mounting tires has been second nature to me most all my life.

Anyhow now at my advanced age and somewhat poverty level of existence worrying about tires and changing them has slid way down my list of concerns in life. So recently close friend Lynn Moore came by and managed to talk me out of the changer for a decent price. He knew I was in financial difficulty and was getting lame enough to not be up to changing many more tires in my life, to which I was thinking the same, so his money talked and the tire changer went.

Now I really can't believe how much I miss that tire changer and continually think of uses I now can't use it for, I know I can probably just go to Lynns place to get the job done and probably get help doing it, but it still really bothers me.

Heh heh any how whenever tires get discussed all this comes to mind now. Maybe I'll trip over a good deal on a Coats 1010 someday soon.


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George Carnut McDowell
est. 1996