Tool Time

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Friday evening my friend Colin and I took a one-hour drive to our nearest Harbor Freight tool store in Appleton, Wis. Like two old dowagers, we grabbed our shopping carts and started going up and down the aisles. You could almost hear us asking the store clerk, "Hey sonny, can you reach me down one of those paint spray guns on the top shelf." The hardworking young folks employed at the store probably thought we got our retirement checks that afternoon and decided to buy some cheap pliers or screwdrivers to fix a broken kitchen drawer. I'll bet they were surprised when we asked them to run in the back and fetch a couple of sandblasters. "And we don't want the cheap one that's in the flyer," we said in unison. "Bring us two of the best ones you got and all the stuff that goes with them." Come to think of it, the great thing about old-car hobbyists is that we may be gray on top, but we've got buying power. And we don't need to buy "convenience" items like cell phones, DVD players, Palm Pals and laptops, but we do find it hard to imagine how anyone can go through life without an engine hoist or a drill press.

What do you think? Write me, call me, email me! Let me know what you're thinking about the old-car hobby. Gunner, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. (715) 445-2214 or

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