I posted last year about holding the drop light for my dad a mechanic who supplemented his income by fixing other peoples cars in our home garage. A thankless task, but fond memories of helping pop when I was still a kid. Having a father who was a mechanic was cool as I learned about engines and cars generally which is why to this day Im a car guy. After high school (and before joining the U.S. Navy in 1968), one of the jobs I had was as a parts counterman at a nearby NAPA store. There I learned how to do valve jobs, cut brake drums (and arc the shoes to fit), mix paint, maintain an inventory, position parts in the warehouse so that the most often needed parts were closest to the parts counter, etc. Thanks to Max the great guy who owned the store. After getting stationed at Naval Air Station (shore duty), Imperial Beach, CA., and getting married, I decided that I needed a little more dough to support the wife, 2 dogs a daily driver and my 57 Chevy. I enjoyed the job at the parts store back home, so I went around to the local parts stores in I.B, looking for work in the evenings and weekends as the Navy then allowed Moonlighting with the proper approvals. I ended up at a little independent parts store (before there were places like Auto Zone, etc. that have pretty much killed off the independents, although there are still a few around). I used to start at around 6:00 PM and close the store at 9:00 and work weekends. The owner of the store was quite a character named Walt Taylor. After I found that he had no inventory system (pointed out lost sales) and the fact that the ignition parts (most often sold stuff) were in the back, Walt and I got along great. His sales were up, so he was a happy camper. These were the days of a huge bank of parts catalogs on top of the counter now-a-days, most clerks in parts stores are lost without their computer. Progress? Anyway, its here at Taylor Auto Parts (long since closed and Walt is in the parts store in the sky) that I had my most memorable and funny moments. It was the 70s so cars could still be worked on by most anyone with a little mechanical aptitude (stressing little). There were a lot of Shade Tree Mechanics. One in particular sticks in my feeble old brain and still gives me a chuckle. I was standing behind the parts counter one weekend and a guy comes in. He said that he needed drive shaft shims for a Ford engine???!!? After making sure that I heard him correctly, I asked where these drive shaft shims were located and what engine (year, size, etc.). He said You know. They go between the pistons and the drive shaft. ????!!! After a little bit of thought I suggested rod bearings and maybe mains as well. Had to show him a picture. Finally got the info that the car was a Ford Fairlane with a 260 small block. Was the crank std.? Didnt know but he thought it was. So sold him the bearings, a gasket set and rings (best as could be determined the pistons were std. too). Figured I would never see him or the car (with a little luck). I shuddered to think of that engine after he got through with it. About 4 hours later hes back. I asked what he needed. He said that he needed to return the new rings as they were all broken. I asked him how hed get them on the pistons if there wasn't a gap in them . He left (thankfully) and I never saw him again. As soon as he got out the door, all of us in there cracked up. Between the drive shaft shims and the broken piston rings, my counterman days still bring back fond memories.