I loved Dan Rodricks' column about car mechanic skills ("The skills that keep America moving," Sept. 5). It reminded my husband and me about an experience in rural Utah in the early 1980s with a Honda sedan. During one of our cross country trips we experienced mechanical problems and drifted off an exit into the parking area of a motel. Since most places in the town were closed, we just got a room for the night and planned to work on repairs in the morning. My husband was thrilled in that we could watch Monday Night Football. He put aside his anxiety about the car and enjoyed the game.
In the morning, we went to the Chrysler dealership next door. There was only a mechanic there, and he diagnosed the problem as a rotor and went to look at the parts he had. I'm sure ours was the first Honda he had worked on. He found a Chrysler rotor and it fit on the Honda. I'm sure the Chrysler part was still on the Honda when we sold it many years later. He charged us $5; we gave him $10 and thanked him profusely.
Like Mr. Rodricks, we found a skilled mechanic who charged a more than reasonable rate and helped us in a timely manner. I think this experience is one of the reasons why we support our Career and Technical Center in Westminster. We hope that there will always be top notch training for these men and women who can provide excellent service and be appreciated in our society.