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Are we "The last of the Mohicans ?"

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Don's Hot Rods, May 30, 2012.

  1. jamesgs4
    Joined: Aug 22, 2007
    Posts: 253

    from denver

    some people fix shit with their hands, some people fix shit with computers. some people manage a shop, some manage million dollar accounts. neither are better than each other, just different. the world is changing, adapt or die.
  2. I'm workin' on it.
  3. Well written David.

    I'm in a similar boat, and tho I'm a bit older I can relate. I'm the first in my family to hold degrees, I now work in software development and love computers, both as tools and for recreation. I often joke that I flip bits during the week and turn bolts on weekends. I'm currently working on my own two projects, the first since I was in high school and learning every step of the way. And I love it! :cool:
  4. One thing I forgot to add to my earlier post....

    When I first really started doing stuff on my own (without my dad's help), it was right after I got out of the service (around 1991), and for a long time, I stuck to the things that I knew I could do.

    But now, with YouTube, Google, etc, etc....heck, I'll tackle anything automotive. Hell, I have a 2001 Honda Odyssey transmission torn down in my garage right now and recently went through the valve body on an AOD. All with the help of YouTube videos and forums like this one.

    I would've NEVER had the balls to tear into an automatic transmission before all this computer stuff.

    Some things are better NOW than the were in the the good old days.
  5. I'm 63 and have a 17-year-old son. He's better at computers - rebuilt his X-box - but he's interested in my hotrod, too. I agree with rustyfords. Computer access to information beats the pants off of going to the library, rummaging through inadequate car manuals and hoping that the neighbor knows more than you do about a mechanical problem.

    There is a lot to love about tradition, but it's also good to live in today's world. We've just got to keep the flame alive with those who want to know the old ways of doing things. Ingenuity makes you think.

  6. Rusty,
    I don't think better just different. Time was that if you needed to know how to do something you went to the local library and checked out a book, or borrowed a bok from someone, or even bought a book. Sometimes you took what the book said, ask someone else who knew a question or two and then tackled the problem.

    Now a lot of us use thre internet but it is still the same principle, read or listen and then tackle the problem. we get about half way in and discover that there wasn't enough information so we find a forum and post a question.

    Not better just different.
  7. It's teenager doesn't view the internet or iPhones, etc, as technology.

    That stuff has always been there for her and her little brothers and those things are just the norm.

    I was telling her how weird that point of view was to me and she made a great point. She said, "Daddy, you don't go into kitchen every day and go 'oooooh....look at the keeps your food cold and you don't have to kill a fresh chicken every time' "

    She said, "the fridge has always been a part of your life and you see it as normal....that's the way we see stuff that you call technology"

    I thought she had a great point. Reality is what we're raised with.
  8. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,541


    My dad said it best for me. He passed away in 1995 at age 82. Several years before he died he said that in my generation the U.S. would be "just another country". It took me till about 5 years ago to understand what he meant.
  9. Read "Walden". Much the same discussion... written 150 years ago.
  10. Orlando1701
    Joined: May 2, 2012
    Posts: 128


    Speak for yourself. I'm 30 and I'm just now getting seriously into cars, hot rodding ect... and yes you can google everything but that will only take you so far, eventually you have to go out and do hands on work on the car, and as I've found more often than not Youtube or Google makes it look much simpler than it actually is so you have have to rely on your wits to make up the difference.
  11. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    These threads make me laugh, I am 24 and my view has allways been that people wont know stuff they have never had to know. I learnt to drive in a floor shift manual. But would probably be lost in a column shift.... why you ask? simple ive never had to drive one. There are people who can only drive automatics, people would say thats crazy I think its just more because most household cars these days are automatics, my daily driver is an automatic.

    You guys talk about farm stuff like milking cows and building a barn or whatever, if someone grew up in the city then thats a life they have never known.

    I am a trainee in my trade and ever day im learning stuff and I often have to ask for help on how to do something because I have not done it before.

    Remember nobody new how to do anything untill they did it the first time. Something that may be normal for you because you do it all the time is brand new teritory to someone who has never done it.

    I have allways had heaps of ideas but little knowledge on how to actually do those things so I have had to get guidance and have people teach me how to do things.

    Confidence has allways been a problem for me, but I have felt for a long time that there are many things I feel I could do if someone would show me how.

    If you are at all worried about people not knowing how to do stuff then for crying out loud teach them, I wish more people would teach and pass on knowledge and have the patients to take the time to teach someone.

    I find it funny how people are like "what do you mean you don't know how to do this, thats useless" or whatever. Yet people get used to their own skills and forget that they once new nothing.

    I found that out when I was unemployed, I went into heaps of places saying that while I didn't know the job I was willing to learn. But nope nobody had the time or desire to teach they wanted people who could jump in and do it right away.

    I talk to older guys and they talk about the days where apprentices were able to take the time to learn and stuff up and whatnot because lets face it a trainee is going to stuff up make mistakes read a drawing wrong and have to do something again sometimes. They are trainees they are learning. Not alot of places are accepting of that these days.
  12. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    The first step in teaching someone is to make it ok for the newbie to not know anything, to let them learn.
  13. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    Read this everyone! this post is fact.
  14. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Man, that is SO profound.
  15. pug man
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,010

    pug man
    from louisiana

    Thanks for posting this Don and you are pretty much DEAD ON RIGHT the way i see it. We are indeed a dying breed and the young ones just don't get it. The GREATEST GENERATION is going away fast and i see nothing to replace those good people.....sad sad sad
  16. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Why do some people think it's wrong to use something that's manufactured versus making it by hand? It pops up in threads on this site a lot. Do some people think it's "hard core" to build rather than buy? "If I can't have "gennie steel", then I'll keep looking." "A glass car is not as good as a steel one." This kind of thinking gets dropped here a LOT.

    I think it's great someone can make something by hand. I commend them, but for a lot of people it's beyond thier means or knowledge and they sometimes get flamed for it. All I'm saying is, it would be easier for a beginner to learn, if he didn't have to deal with some of the bullshit of the "craftsmen". All the 1-800 comments are bullshit. Everyone doesn't have a full shop and tools to be a hot rod hero. Yet, they get flamed. If we don't change our attitudes, then yea, we are the last of our kind and we'll deserve to be so.
  17. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Maybe you're looking in the wrong places. I see some awesome replacements EVERY day.
  18. devilleish
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 254

    from Tampa, FL

    I'm 37, young enough to still be considered a pup by some but old enough to be almost an old-timer to some others (that was a hell of a realization). I grew up with both Grandfathers and my Dad working as aerospace engineers. I was raised to think and analyze and find a good way around a problem.

    I work in a small factory running a CNC router. We handle everything we build (many things are 100% handmade... crafted, if you will) and make everything we need to build our products except for the raw materials and electronics, and our products go out the door with our names and "Made In USA" on them. It is a source of pride for us and we ARE a dying breed, but there are still some of us out there.
  19. mink
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,315

    from CT

    Actually that's being resourceful and without it I think the hotrod scene wouldn't be as strong as is
  20. spiders web
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 384

    spiders web

    My daughters know more about cars than the shop teacher at their High School. My oldest daughter changes her boy friends oil for him (member of Mamby Pamby land) and he just stands there and watches. I think some of these boys now days are born without a sack!!!!!
  21. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Maybe he thinks it's hot.
  22. Mooseman
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 309


    Heres a thought that just crossed my mind, you older generation talk about the days of records, and home movies with film reel, and 8 track tapes. Well us young guys who grew up with compact cassette and video tapes and cds are allmost at the point where we can start telling the next generation after us what they are missing with their downloaded music and ipods and whatnot.

    It was probably the same back when the first car came out the horse and cart guys probably thought the world was falling down.
  23. Colville
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 478


    Well didnt read every post but read a few pages... Im a soon to be father, within the next few months. I can not wait to get my boy out in the garage or out side working in the yard, I will do everything I can to keep him learning. Yes every kid needs some down time playin on a computer or whatever they like but hopefully if he has my personality he will not have interests in video games as I didnt as a kid. Lets just all stay positive and do what we can to influence the up and coming younger kids these days (im only 29). We have to set the example for our kids and as long as they see us enjoying working with our hands and we make figuring problems out fun they will enjoy it as they get older. I plan to involve my kids in any projects we have whether they are home repair or car repair, just make sure you know how to make it fun for them if they are really young, or they may loose interest quick. Just my $0.02
  24. ImForwardlook
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 107


    Great thread and a lot of good points. I have been wondering about these things for quite some time as well. I do think that there are two important factors in this equation, parents who are too lazy to teach and a school system which has too little to do with real life. It seems that, in much of the western world, governments are getting a stronghold of its citizens and people are too gullible to ever worry about things getting worse as in a crisis. There is nothing wrong with technology advancing but that should not rule out old hands on skills or common sense. The world is pretty fragile unlike many people believe. The sky might not fall but it is a pretty good insurance to have a bit of knowledge of the every day things around us. As far as traditional Hot Rods go, who knows how long they stay around? The world is changing at a faster pace every day. Just enjoy what you have now and try to keep the control freaks back. Only one thing is certain, farmergal's post that I quoted is some of the best stuff I've read. It is certainly nice to see that there are truly rich people amongst us. I salute you.
    Joined: Oct 5, 2010
    Posts: 115

    from ct

    And that car lasted a few weeks without oil? Guess one of the last Mohegans was on that assembly line:p
  26. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,817


    i grew up around an extended family of Great Depression and WW2 survivors; they were totally into the "self sufficient, don't hire out work you can do yourself" concept, and taught it well. whatever they themselves couldn't do, usually one of the OTHERS could. they NEVER brought in "outside" help unless it was a DOCTOR. and just because "modern" folks can pull up the interwebs and order up whatever they want does not mean that it is going to STAY that way..... sometimes, shit hits the fan, and we start all over again...... and that day is really going to fucking SUCK for "modern" people unable to do even the most BASIC tasks. and, by and large, they deserve it.
  27. droptop 63
    Joined: Apr 22, 2012
    Posts: 33

    droptop 63
    from Texas

    This subject comes up at least once or twice every time me and my buddy are working on a project in the garage. I believe that the US lost its edge and its hold on being a true leader in most areas because most of our manufacturing sector is now overseas. We are in the same boat as Japan, England and all other countries that are strictly a "service society".

    But, we both believe in one thing, the depression/recession is one of the best things that could have happened to get a small portion of our creativity back. I, personally have quite a few boomer friends that will never quit working with our hands. I personally retired from being a professional firefighter, fire marshal and arson investigator after 25 years (fifteen years ago) and will not consider retiring in this economic disaster we are in. The one constant in my life is my love for working on cars since I was 14. My .02.
  28. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,633

    from Chino, Ca

    I remember when I was in High School back in the late 70s, my history teacher always used to say that we (the United States) is changing from a industrial nation to a nation of communication, which is what the United States is today. If we had been a "nation of communication during WWII, we would be speaking German today.
    We must become a nation of industry once again, instead of depending on other countries to make our goods for us. The nation will better itself by manufacturing its own products and at the same time provide jobs which are badly needed. By doing so, the money flows in a circle rather than flowing out in one direction. In other words we all benefit and workers will take pride in the products because they built it with their own hands.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  29. yblock292
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,937


    Don, can't agree with you more. I'm just a few years younger than you are and grew up around hotrods and antique cars. The good news though i do know some "kids" under 25 that are really into hot rods and kustoms, problem is there so many more out there that don't know a lug wrench from a jack hammer and really don't care. Had a kids (19) mom call me the other day, kids 90 someting camero would't start. "Does it turn over?" didn't know what i meant, kid or mom.Finally got through that part to determind it wasn't spinning. "Did you check the battery cables?" Didn't have a clue what to do, walked them through that, found a loose battery cable, did not have any thing to tighten it up with! Told them to twist it a couple of time , and take it to Oreillys. Sad
  30. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    I keep readin the new posts on this thread. Lots of good ideas and reasons things are changing.
    I believe the biggest problems are the same with our hobby as most other things today........... A one or no parent houshold. Seem to be a million parents home schooling their kids nowdays. These are the same parents who don't look or act smart enough to find the Mall without a GPS! The same parents who have to ask what those lights are blinking on the insrument cluster and why the Prius is making strange sounds.
    And that parent doesn't have a clue about things mechanical so can't teach their kids simple things.
    This also goes for the schools. Many are lucky to have shop classes. Small towns like we now live in don't have woodshop, metal shop, or anything using hands. Someone showed a post with the high school projects that kids made in their schools. Kids down here barely know how to sharpen a pencil in an automatic sharpener!
    There really are less parents teaching their kids how to work with their hands. Unless it's to roll a joint or pop the top on a beer can.

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