I love my job and really I should say I love my life. I am blessed to be able to live and work in the Vienna Community. I am intelligent, diligent, surrounded by the people I love, and have a wonderful family. I work for folks that I can never call strangers. I volunteer for many positions but Church, Scouting, and Volunteer Fire Department are the big 3. I am healthy and fit. Thanks to many, many, many of my family, friends, and others that raised me, molded me, and shaped my brain and my world. I owe God and many servicemen for my freedom. I thank all those that got all the organizations started. I became rather than invented. I joined most of my positions and grew into the role. I am first a very few times. I am working from the firm foundations laid in some cases centuries ago.
As I work each day with the family and friend as colleagues I marvel at the magnificent team we form. Adversity and tough situations seem to bring us closer. When presented with a problem we can solve by research, trial and diligence. We accept responsibility and deal with the consequences. The business of Wilson’s Garage of Pfafftown Inc. goes beyond the repair and maintenance or automobiles and light trucks. We provide a much needed ear to listen, we spring into action for all kinds of emergencies. We provide a place of meeting and direction. We are also here to repair that Car!!!
Wilson’s has been that place to gather since the 1950s’. Many community issues and problems have been solved around the stove and water cooler. I grew up listening to the old guys planning for community events, emergency preparedness and fun outings with family and friends. We develop internal and external relationships. Customers become family and son’s begin their families. Roberta is the female stronghold around all these men. She had boys and My brother and sister had boys so lots of Boys/Men around.
Everybody I work with is committed to Family, Church, and Community Values. Faith and truth are cornerstones of relationships. I have developed business, personal , and internet relationships across Vienna, Lewisville, and Winston-Salem. Joining IGONC sent me into the State. ASA took me nationwide and Worldwide. My Fire Service brothers are worldwide and recently Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook goes beyond comprehension.
My relationships are very important and really why I get up everyday!
I have the Greatest Team in the World. I get to go to work everyday that and never dread the job. I am usually in anticipation of the issues that drive, drag, or walk in the door. I have a most demanding Boss-man and co-workers. I work in my Family owned business nearly 50 hours a week and interact with friends, family, community members, church members, and friends I have not met yet everyday.
My second job is just as demanding and rewarding. I am allowed to be a Volunteer Fire Chief for my community. I have the skills for the Fire Service and love to provide the services demanded by our community.
Everyday Wilson’s Garage is presented with problems, and situations that challenge our talent, skills, and brains. We do mundane work and love to serve. The Team is made up of Roberta, Jim, Paul, Billy , Richard, and Tyler. I juggle the staff hours according to the various schedules. Billy works 9-1pm because he used to put his daughter on the bus before work. Richard works on days off from his regular job at Forsyth County Fire Department. Jim grew up in the garage and after Forsyth Tech Body School came to work Full-time. Tyler is part-time after school and cleans and assists the mechanics.
Billy is retired from the Detroit Police Department and 30 yrs with Chrysler. I asked him to help me when a friend and mechanic of 20yrs had to retire suddenly. Billy brings a joy and positive attitude mixed with steady work ethic. Richard is always working to get the job done. He has other stuff to take care of and getting the job finished and out the door is always a goal. Jim and Paul are developing into some of the best mechanics because the are both intuitive and enjoy the mission of the Garage.
Roberta starts us off everyday and Richard calls her the Scheduler!!!. Even when she is not around She seems to have an impact on the business that arrives in our doors. Roberta joined my Life in 1982 . We got married Sept 3 1983. Everything I do or have done Roberta has been right beside me and many times leading the way for all my endeavors. She worked outside the home, Raised our family of boys, and joined the business Full-Time when both Jim and Paul got in School. She is the reason we are successful on the front counter and in everyday life. A calming presence and forceful time-keeper. When you are measured in 6 minute increments and paid accordingly there must be an accurate account of everyone’s time.
Reasons I love my Job are numerous. I love the problem solving. I enjoy my interaction with each person everyday. I most enjoy when we get to do the impossible or most challenging. The core 4 of Billy, Richard, Jim and myself do 90% of the mechanic work. We sometimes have to do work we don’t like or actually hate… there is always a joking word or a helping hand that never waits to be asked. Working individually or in the team concept we have a great mix of skills and insight.
I love the relationships developed in the Shop and with our Customers… More on those next time … See Ya
`My everyday interactions with customers, friends and other people I meet cause me to think , speak ,and hopefully spring into action. There are times and I do not remember many I did not have words or music in my head. I think in the shape of english words. My thoughts do run into pictures and diagrams too but mostly words. Music on the other hand brings to mind the vast images my brain has seen or imagined. I can to this day close my eyes and see the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains while listening to any bluegrass music. I can hear the fire crackling and remember sights and sounds of a thousand campfires.
The smallest whiff of some fragrances can bring back vivid memories and these are displayed in my small brain as pictures or movies. Brief glimpses of my past and sometimes a strong yearning for that time and place.
Coffee is reminiscent of a Coleman camp stove and an old percolator. We use to have on our many family and then Scouting trips.
On my CD “Sounds and Sights of Camping ” I started with that very image. The wisp of steam and related hiss of the burner combine with the percolating coffee to bring the image to mind. Then just the image and the sounds and smells come back. I hear the crackle of the fire and bring back thousands of evenings sitting with friends around the fire sharing stories or just letting the days stress roll off in the silence. Friends provide comfort by just enjoying the same silence and watching our very own cowboy TV.
We connect with each other through shared experiences and usually need just a few words or a picture to get to conversing.
I have a picture frame that stores about a thousand pics and many customers ask about Raven Knob or Philmont or just Scouting in general. We usually strike up a conversation and the same look will cross faces as we reminisce and get one image in our head after another.
Those same smells and thoughts can trigger the bad images and horror of what we have witnessed. I can close my eyes and picture almost every dead person or accident victim I have ever dealt with. The smell of battery acid and gasoline and dirt is a mixture that brings to mind many a bad wreck. I hear the old Hurst engine hunting up and down as the firemen of past days struggled to cut the kids out of their crushed and mangled cars and trucks.
I smell the house fire blocks away and can tell if it is a working fire. My dog used to go to the door first because he recognized our tones.I can remember vividly the flames dancing across the ceiling as we made entry into a summer lightening strike. I still hear the roar of the fire in the attic above and the rushing sound of the water as it exits the hose.
The most vivid music and memory from my Fire Service was a wreck that the radio blasted”Might as well be walking on the Sun” in a continuous loop until we killed the battery and bagged our customer and his Skull. Another story for another time… Until later keep on smelling, and listening and living.
I have spent the better part of 2 weeks away from my work. I have been a Boy Scout leader and a beach bum. Today’s world can keep me in touch and I have been Richard’s Direct Tim. I have fixed cars at camp and the beach and even helped out on the way back for my Class. I made a tactical error and scheduled a class for a train the trainer that will be a great addition to my teaching style… I had to leave the beach … 50 year I have been going for a week with family. They are great and will not even miss a beat without me.
It is nice to get away and see different folks, try different work, and get tired a different way. I have worked at my Beloved Raven Knob. I will give Dave the Ranger my best effort while at Camp. I gave Chris the OA campfire Chairman my best along with Mike. Jay, Andrew and Jimmy. and our newest Scout Dads. I got to help with the Vigil tap and reception. Roberta and many others assisted with a very successful welcome for our newest Vigil candidates.Youth and Adults have created a very strong Vigil class. Putting a mark on Camp by building or helping is a wonderful legacy for our Troop 919. This 5th week we helped with concrete at the loading dock that will be there for my grandchildren.
Dave has built a magnificent group of adults that give of their time and talents to our Camp. I am proud to be counted as one who works for the Camp. I am always amazed how the youth respond to the trials and endure the physical aspects of camp. One of our Scouts Brady comes to camp with disability of his legs. It is extremely taxing for him to travel around camp. We walk a mile to meals and back each day. We got him a golf cart for his Mom and him to get around. The spirit pin had multiple requirements and one was a Knob Hike. The Knob trail is part of a longer trail but rises about 550 feet above Lake Sabata in about 3/4 of a mile. It is challenging for my adult self but Brady in his quest to hike the Spirit pin requirements hiked the Knob with some help and support of his fellow scouts. I knew I had to hike and swim this year. I qualified for the mile swim by swimming 1/8th Monday, 1/4th Tuesday, and 1/2 Wednesday, then the full mile Thursday at 11. I was assisted by Jay and Andrew. Each swimmer needs and rower and spotter. I finished in 57 minutes and the waterfront staff had lunch delivered while about the last 1/4th of the swimmers finished. Everyone was done except for one youth. His stroke was not the best but he never let up. 2 hours after he started he came to the dock with all the rest of our staff and swimmers encouraging him.
Our family beach trip required packing up a camp and unpacking at home and repacking for the trip to Myrtle Beach
Family dynamic enjoying the wonderful beach, food, and mix of friends and family. I had to leave after several glorious days. We plan the menu and buy the food and then we cook. Rotating shifts of cooking and cleaning up. Everyone pitches in. I got my certificate and in the morning I finish the Train the Trainer class and bolt back to the Glorious surf….
Life is flying minute by minute. Exponentially increasing with each passing nanosecond. It seems that the more experience I gain the more chances to learn. I am consumed by the everyday tasks and responsibilities. Dreams and aspirations are put aside to handle day-to-day activities. Radio, television,and the ever-present cellular phone are enhancing my information but stealing my time.
As an automotive mechanic I can buy and sell parts and labor. I can inventory parts but the labor is gone with the end of the day. I must make the most of each 6 minute time period that my day of 24 hours is divided up into.You see mechanics are paid by the 1/10th of the hour. My day is billed in 80 increments. Once the day is past I have to give more time . I get to inventory parts for sale another time but Labor is Gone like the Magic Smoke from complicated electronic devices.
Priority is making sure my hard-earned knowledge is passed on to my Family and Friends. I am so involved that several different self-help brochures and even books could be written. I bet my EMT knowledge could be written in a primer for new EMT’s. Not to mention the Automotive repair hard knocks that must be earned and will be learned.
Communication by all parties is utmost important. Especially in Automotive repair we have to be extra clear about costs and long-term effects any diagnosis and repair may have. EMT’s must be brutally direct and ask for permission to treat a patient. Continued communication and I will bring in Compassion now. It takes time for compassion and it is knowledge of a situation and understanding how the situation affects a person.
My compassion brings me the balance I so need to stave off complacency and PTSD. I need my Fellow FF, and my ability to express my emotion. I am a story-teller and will share discretely the humorous situations I find myself in for all my involvement.
Of course Fire and EMS provide a grand backdrop for life changing stories. The automotive business delivers hits that just keep on coming. Murphy seem well at home here!!!. And as a Christian If I cannot laugh at myself and our “Church” I would not be able to live!
I have the same troubles that most “random” life has. I am A Boy Scout… Be Prepared, I have trained for a life of Service, Church and Fire-Rescue. I live on-call. I even vacation ready to help. Many situations in life have come and gone and I have accepted the challenges and Excelled. I have failed and tried to hide my situation. I have confessed my failures and Been forgiven.
I just need to put my needs down on paper and then list the achievements and accomplishments periodically. I may fail. I may slide. I will always ask for Help and Forgiveness.
Thanks for my Family and Community and My Nation. I am nothing without GOD and Grace!
What is it you really want? Money ,Power, Fame , or thanks for a job well done? Acknowledgement that you too are valuable? I have asked for input in various venues. I receive blank looks, stares, and seldom any answers. Is it because we are already getting the needed praise and admiration? Have we become satisfied with the paycheck or just a simple thanks for a job well done? Do we expect so little because we don’t get any more return of gratification.
For a society that will only wait 15 seconds for an elevator before becoming antsy, we surely need that instant gratification Pavlov found so important to explaining behavior. I got triggered to write by a Fire Service Video asking folks in their community what firefighters do and are they Valuable. The answer is a resounding YES! Valuable and most public knew FF had expanded roles today. In fact almost half of the folks interviewed had had direct interaction with firefighters. Two had house fires and one had a medical issue.
The question still is: What do you expect? The answers are complex and varied. Varied to the situation and scope of the picture…. I.E. my local community versus the World view. Is is a situation that will be life-changing? Will I need preparation or training for the changes coming? Am I ready or will change just roll me over and keep on trucking?
I am ready for the many and varied changes that come into my long life of service. My business, Fire Department, and even my Church and Religion have changed. I must have changed and will continue to change.
My automotive customers; by the surveys and reviews, want the car fixed the first time, on time, and in a convenient manner. My hours and flexibility about helping customers in the off hours must be OK because many reviewers are 100% satisfied. Do they want more or are the parameters so set in stone they are getting 100% of what is available?
I want to feel good about helping, be thanked, and only called when needed. I want all my automotive customers to call about any issue!! I really think I can save you money if I get to help. I know I can save you time!!!… My Emergency customers I will respond for almost any call until I find that it can be solved another way, it is another agency responsibility, or it is abuse of the system. Intentional abuse or just not knowing is the same sometimes.
What are you willing to Give?.. is the answer to:.. What do you want? I will give you my life but it will not be frivolous or without thought. 42 years of service and hundreds of mentors and countless hours of training has taught me I expect the Best, Smartest,and most driven people to succeed. The rest will just get by and get along… C’mon What do You Expect?
Life responds each day with new and different experiences. Some are Breathtaking others mundane . I have been blessed to have been raised to help. Animals, People,or machine I have skills that I can put to use in a firefighters minute.
I remember running or riding my bike up to the main road to watch the firetruck or Sheriff go zipping off to help someone.
The Vienna Fire Department siren was mounted on the building . When a Fire or Rescue call was dispatched the siren would wind up to a high pitch and drop to a low mournful wail. The dogs in the neighborhood would hear the siren first. Anybody outside would stop and listen but us kids would ride or run to Old 421 to watch the firetrucks. We would wait hopping up and down until we could pump our arms up and down for the Engineer to blow that horn.
The siren has been retired due to our call volume and each firefighter getting a pager or monitor. That siren would get the adreneline flowing in all around when it went off. It may take the average person juiced by the siren 30 minutes or more to calm down. Firefighters with a working call would have extra stamina and strength or if canceled needed to learn how to burn off that extra juice. The firefighters friend and enemy adrenaline. It took years to understand why I could just hear tones and be wide awake. Tones came late in my early teens, we could get up just by hearing the words Vienna and House Fire. Breathing became rapid and just going across the street to turn off the siren and hear where the trucks were going was difficult.
We did not have as many canceled calls because we ran 1/3 as many calls. Not near the medical because we had family and neighbors for the small stuff. The firemen that started Vienna used to laugh at us studing from the Red books and learning first aid. They were not mean laughing because they had the foresight to attract a bunch of kids. They laughed at how something as simple as helping your neighbor could require so much time and training. They laughed out of relief that someone was there to do the job. Youth and Skill to the rescue. Knowledge and training and we could move mountains. We never worried about the money, the time required or the cost to our families. We realized at the 20yr mark like our founding Fathers how smart they were. We recruited and changed to meet the new needs. We are highly trained in medical, psychology, Fire Science, and Hydraulics. We are proficient in numerous rescue techniques and Advanced automotive systems and the dismantling of the crushed passenger roll cage/compartment.
Today we are more than professional gawkers and involved. We are committed to spending a lifetime taking care of generations of residents in our district.