I grew up here. Lived my whole life here. Worked at this gas station; I learned to live like a man.
I learned that I loved trucks and four wheelers and dirt bikes. It was never hard to fit in, I was always hanging around boys when I was little- I wore blue jeans and refused to wear anything with lace- I let my hair grow in wild blonde locks and I was a tom-boy through and through.
When I began school I was the only girl who played kickball and baseball and liked getting dirty at recess. Later I was the only girl who rushed home from school to the gas station to work.
It was there I learned about engines and cars- trucks especially- I got my first truck when I was two months short of turning fourteen and by the time I was 15 learned the inner workings of it down to every little detail. As a pre-teenager I pumped gas and changed tires and did oil changes when it got real over-booked at the garage.
Mieshka was one of my closest friends and he was the first to show me the ropes. He had a thickly Americanized European accent and was about 13 years older than I. He closely acted as surrogate Uncle to me and told me with such strong and slender small hands that I made a better mechanic on my 81 Toyota pickup than anyone else in the town.
Out-of-towners would at first doubt my ability to be a mechanic but I proved myself more than able by working my ass off just as hard as any of the other guys at the shop.
On my 15th birthday my buddies Shayne and Tommy surprised the hell out of me with a rebuilt Honda four wheeler they bought from a police auction down in Terrysville and handed me the key with gritty mechanic boy grins…