On The Road With Johnny B ...Crossroads Of Life
As a Wet Behind The Ears Lad of 19 and wanting to make a living with old cars my Automotive Career started as a Counterman at the now long gone STM Auto Parts in Ronkonkoma in 1980.
Back in the Old Days before computers you had to look up parts in a paper catalog, update inventory cards and knew what "Points" were. The local Parts Store was a haven for Shade Tree Mechanics, had a Machine Shop and was the local hang out for Gear Heads. I thrived as a counterman and rejoiced in the Crusty Patina. It was new and fueled my romance for old cars
STM Didn't stay in business to long but I knew or thought my career would be in the Auto Industry. I had a Crossroad then. Took a turn down the road and motored forward. Most of my Parts Background started in the early 1980's in German vehicles, mostly Mercedes Benz where I learned to love the Smokey Chokey Benz 5 Cylinder Turbo Diesel. Still till this day my heart has warm spot when I hear the horrible combustion explosions of the Benz Rolling Oil Burner.
As far Crossroads go some happen by accident and some are thrust upon you. In 1983 with the nagging of a friend I attended my first Fall Carlisle Car Show. That accidental Crossroad would give me a lifetime of adventures, friends, great old cars and a future business.
The trust upon me Crossroad in late 1990's was the loss of a Career Job due to a merger that went bad. Eventually that re-formed company would become Worldpac aka Advance Auto Parts but I was long gone by then. To be honest I never really recovered careerwise or financially. Even my later employment many years later with Weber Carbs was a go no place situation. As always settled for less money due to lack of pride or self worth.
Some good came out of the debacle of the "Merger" It pushed me to move to Carlisle Pa for 5 years, get involved with Classic Car Appraisal and eventually open Vintage Auto Appraisal. Perhaps another Good Accidental Crossroad.
I moved back to Port Jefferson in 2015, broke and shouldered with the burden of an Alcoholic Fiance. She left. Drank herself to death in Pa and I mourned and motored on waiting on new Crossroads.
Crossroads came and went. I went back into Auto Parts. Opened Vintage Auto Appraisal. Made new amazing friends and was blessed to still have my old ones here and in Carlisle.
Jobs came and went. Sometimes thru no fault of my own and sometimes thru ALL my fault. Regardless of where I went seems the pay was less and less. Seems that a semi washed up old counterman is not much desired in the automotive industry.
Sure I tried the usual or traditional methods. Resumes, ads, job sites etc. Even took a $12.00 an hour Auto Zone job. Seems sad that people with my background are forced to take that type of job. Yes I know all work is a Blessing and Provisions in God's Eyes
At the writing of this I am yet again at another Crossroad. Time to make a turn. What direction? Despite my daily Stupidity I still have a loving family and friends. I refer to them as "My Loved Ones" that will support me no matter what I chose.
Every second of everyday bills keep coming in. Rents, insurance and life. No stopping it. Is this God's plan for us? Only he knows. I am not bitter. In fact feel blessed. Just gotta take the correct turn on the Crossroad of Life this time.