After Hours

What geeky pursuits did your dad inspire you to discover?

Join in the TechRepublic discussion about the geeky pursuits or interests your father introduced you to as a kid or as an adult.

We posed this question on TechRepublic's Facebook page: What geeky pursuits or interests did your father introduce you to as a kid or as an adult? Here are some of the responses we received from members:

  • My dad inspired my gaming interest,when he bought a computer back in 1995,with PacMAN onboard:-) -- Allan KaptƎn
  • Computers! He had one of the first personal computers ever made. But more importantly, he raised me to think out of the box and be a good troubleshooter, which certainly helps in IT! -- Devora Locke
  • We stayed up late getting the vehicle electronics working as he explained what each part does. -- Kevin Njoroge
  • Those electronic project kits from radio shack. -- Jerry Smith
  • Building the TRS-80 Color Computer and playing board games from Strategy and Tactics magazine! -- Andy Moon

Tell us if your father or stepfather made an indelible imprint on your introduction to geek culture.

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About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

118 comments
gscratchtr
gscratchtr

my father was plenty "geek" (he was a radar operator when radar was practically science fiction), but the most important thing taught me was to never quit and to clean up and put the tools away when the project was done. ok, two things (he also taught me to never lie)

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

My dad didn't so much give me geeky pursuits, as an entire way of perceiving things. He would always bring practical aspects to the theory, and theoretical aspects to the practice, lifting the curtain to the world beyond the world. He was pretty good at teaching, so good it never felt like he was.

vegesm
vegesm

I created my first program with his help. It summed the numbers from 1 to 100.

CCCharles
CCCharles

My dad was a Mech Eng and loved tinkering with engines and all things mechanical. He taught me engines and we rebuilt a couple together. But the best legacy he gave me was when he sold his old sports car that he was struggling to bring back to its former glory for a Level 1 TRS-80. He also did a lot of home-built electronics so I got the stench of solder flux in my nostrils from an early age. I cut my teeth on BASIC and Z80 assembler before I was 12 and went on from there. I think it was a prescient and selfless act; damn he loved that car!

diana.ibay
diana.ibay

Too long ago and too far out in the back country for computers, but when our Baby Ben clock gave up the ghost, my dad gave it to me to take apart and figure out. (I was probably about five or six at the time). Of course I ended up in engineering. Miss you, Dad.

rkoenn
rkoenn

I honestly don't know what got me to be a geek. I loved the classic horror movies shown on Shock Theater in the mid-60s and migrated from that to scifi. I bought early calculators in college and built model rockets and my own multi-rocket launch system. My dad did not offer support nor did he look upon it negatively. He was born and raised on an Ohio farm where life was a bit of a struggle and became a school librarian through the GI bill so I can understand this. He did like scifi a bit but was not a tinkerer or geek, he loved baseball. Now I picked up plastic modeling, model rockets, and on to computers when they came out building a Sinclair and migrating it into a keyboard/case prior to moving to a TI and then IBM and clones. I have likely built 500+ computers over the years and continue to build and service them in my spare time. I also became an aerospace engineer spending my entire career on the shuttle with NASA at KSC. And of course still plastic modeling geeky things, attending scifi cons, and flying rockets. My two sons definitely got a good dose of geek from me but themselves did not continue much of these activities after they left home for college and work. And neither of my two brothers or sister ever got geeky. I guess I am unique and a lost cause!

jeff.allen
jeff.allen

NOTHING. Dad was a cop. When I announced, in 1969 (yep) that I wanted to go into electronics then computers he rubbished the idea. Said it was a waste of time and why would I work for a "Pommie" (British) Company... Lucky at 18 I was old enough to make up my own mind. Thanks Dad!

yawafrifa2000
yawafrifa2000

My father always wanted me to be a tech of some sort, though I had wanted to be a journalist or medical doctor. In the end I studied heavy-duty equipment mechanics and rose through the ranks to become an engineer. With the advent of computers, I managed to shift easily to the IT field where my trouble-shooting procedures and experience is helping me.

audio.inc
audio.inc

I think from the toys that I received from my dad back in the 1950s: Boeing Stratocruiser etc.. that got me hooked on mechanical devices and later electronics; at the age of 11 I wrote my first equation for infinity and have since 1996 been writing about the formation of 2 dimensional space prior to the 'Big Bang' 15.8 Billion years ago.

angela.parsons
angela.parsons

My dad was a civil engineer and built roads. He delighted in teaching me "tech stuff" such as bridge design, perspective drawing, and the stages oil goes through in the refining process. I learned that girls could enjoy and be good at technology and decided that my career would take that route.

DesertJim
DesertJim

He always answered my How's Why's and What's and when he didn't know we would find out, from books and libraries. I have a suspicion some 57 years later that the don't know's were strategically done on library day or when we were out near a bookshop or at home. Everyday in the bus to school we played games factorising the serial number of the ticket and at night he read stories (Hiawatha, Puck of Pook's Hill, Beowolf), I was one of the few kids at my nursery school with an intimate knowledge of Norse Mythology, so that's pretty geeky. But THE BEST was the crystal set radio kit, not just making the set, but strining the aerial, burying the ground spike and listening to it together. Upgrading it with an AF and RF amplifier bit by bit. By 12 I was the guy in the village that people called to fix their TVs (I built up a stock of valves so I could do repairs as a call out service) To this day I haven't stopped learning, I still love books and have hopefully taught my kids the same.

roobb
roobb

My dad was working for Con Ed in 1961 and got me a job as a EAM tabulator operator (remember punched cards preceded magnetic tape). I have recreated myself every decade since, all the while remaining in IT. More than 15 Real time systems later, 16 programming languages and a few altered industries, you are reading the words of the newest IT executive coach. More than 22,000 adults have worked with me in the IT courses I have developed mainly at CUNY. With a batting average of .800 for all the major projects I have participated on over the years, I am enjoying paying back what my dad gave me over 50 years ago. Thanks Dad! Bob O'Brien

johnh
johnh

I am showing my age but my dad was interested in home made wireless radios before the second world war. He was also an amateur telescope maker of some note. When I was young I made crystal sets and transistor radios in the 50`s (anyone remember red spot and white spot cheap transistors at 2/6d (that`s two shillings and sixpence in English money) and I ground reflecting telescope mirrors that were actually sold. I had far too much money as a teenager! Failed to run computer programs written on punched tape on Elliot 806 original transistor mainframe when I was a student. Had my own kids and they got a Sinclair ZX81 for Christmas and sat for hours on end with them typing in progs from magazines. Upgraded to Spectrum. Then elder son got Amiga 500. He actually made money from a game he and the lad next door wrote (Carnage). He went on to work for British firm Codemasters and then with some friends founded their own company who wrote stuff for Guitar Heros and were bought out by Activision Blizard so he is rolling in money. The youngest son designs and validates chips for digital set top boxes and spends far too much time at beer festivals (He did not learn to drink beer from me. It just came naturally). Like father like son!

hadeyeancah
hadeyeancah

my dad introduce me to thinking whatever i play with electronic toy but never like cartoon my favourite

nolandbay
nolandbay

My Dad and Mom both served in WW2 and in 1946 with their newborn son retreated to a hill farm in the bush on the Tamar valley in Tasmania (Australia). There was no power and no phone and that suited them fine as they didn't want anyone to tell them what or not to do. As I grew up I watched my dad build his own battery radios and a crystal set for me to listen to in bed. In the 1950s he worked for the Telephone company and Moved off the farm to live in town but his heart was always in the bush and we spent a lot of time panning for gold and walking in national parks. I became an industrial electrician and my work with automated controls led me into computer technology and finally to teach apprentices in electrical and electronic trades. Thanks Dad. "Each day you are alive is a good day".

l_e_cox
l_e_cox

Dad wasn't a geek, but he did like to build his own furniture for the kids' rooms. I did pick up that from him. I'm a DIY kind of guy.

Aungba Man
Aungba Man

My Dad wasn't afraid to fix anything and was ashamed to pay someone else to do what he could figure out himself. When I got my first computer, a Toshiba T1200 (I still dream about that beautifully clear white/blue screen), and it started giving me error messages, I got the impossible to understand DOS 3.3 manual and kept working at it until it would boot without error messages. Thanks Dad for teaching me self-reliance and perseverance.

Robiisan
Robiisan

My father started out as a watchmaker, turned small mechanical camera repairman for a US Navy R&D facility. Eventually he transitioned to an elctronics technician through an apprenticeship program the Navy offered. He once told me that "anything someone else put together, he could figure out how to take apart and repair it. Never be afraid to try," he told me, "since it's already broken and you've nothing to lose." Then one day while he was studying in his apprenticeship program, I asked him what he was doing. He then explained to me how a simple vacuum tube worked. I was early teen, but I remembered that lesson he gave when I was studying electronics in the Navy some six years later. It gave me a real leg up on the material. During my time in the Navy, I transitioned from straight electronics and vacuum tubes to early computers and "magic rocks" (transistors). My first "computer" was a box that fit in a 19" equipment rack, had two rows of red and blue toggle switches (1 was up, 0 was down), a binary LED display, and a momentary pushbutton. If you made a mistake in your "programming," you reached around behind it and yanked the plug to start over. So, since Dad gave me an impromptu trons lesson, I guess I've been geek since about 1963 or so. Thank you, Daddy!!!

christopher
christopher

When i was about 4 years old my dad brought home the IBM PC model 5151 with the mega awesome monochrome monitor, dual 360k floppy drives, full size of course, and if i remember correctly, a whopping 256k of memory. i learned how to take the thing apart, put it together, troubleshoot it, as well as rewriting the BASIC games he had as well as writing a few of my own. Over the years we upgraded to CGA, then eventually EGA graphics (with the IBM 5153 RGB monitor tweaked to display the higher refresh rate of EGA). eventually he obtained this little game called Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards by Sierra On-Line. Since this was an "adult" oriented game he attempted to keep me from playing by using the keyboard lock that was featured on the later IBM AT machines, as well as boot passwords, encryption algorithms, etc which helped my hacking and security troubleshooting skills as well. Before you know i had a collection of PC's of varying configurations. Some with those extra large 30 MB RLL hard drives, the standard 20 MB MFM hard drives, and even the ESDI hard drives. Here it is 29 years later and i STILL have my IBM PC 5151 upgraded to 2MB ram, an old Seagate 30 MB RLL hard drive, EGA and CGA graphics, both low and high density 5.25" floppy drives, and the killer is, it STILL works! i just need a keyboard for it now. that died about a decade ago. And i'm the proud owner of my own consulting company and now dad asks me for help when it comes to certain things. He still works for essentially the same company (been bought, sold, traded, name changed over the last 33 years)

BigJohnLg
BigJohnLg

We had kerosene lights. Our phone had 8 party's I had to go out and kill our food..

calistra
calistra

I guess he would have been - but being born during the first world war he was into things like Chemistry and Geology which he taught. We had huge vials of Sulphuric and Nitric acid in our garage. He took me on school geology field trips to Wales. When I was old enough he bought me electronics kits - twenty or so projects in each kit - but the best thing he did, in the seventies, was to introduce me to one of his teachers - Seb Jenkins who built osciloscopes and other stuff from scratch. Now he IS a geek and it is his footsteps I have followed.... To my Dad's credit, when I gave him a ZCPR based system - KayPro II - he took to it like a duck to water - using it for all kinds of things despite the total lack of documentation - so yeah - he was pretty cool.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

There was many a time my dad was so smart you wondered if he had a positive IQ or if it was a negative one. If you could think of a better and more efficient way if you did not desire to become black & blue. You did not try to improve his choice no matter how much better your solution was. He was in the Army while the Korean War happened, but he did not go due to the fact he fell under a Deuce and a half, had his head crushed while in Basic Training. I wonder if the Army was worried about his IQ being Positive or Negative as to sending him to Korea. He was a traveling salesman, I introduced his company to DTP in 1986, and wrote most of their Data Base record keeping software. And much of that software saved them Millions from the IRS. The one thing I never tried to correct, because I did not know how to was his feeling that if that person only had two not 3 legs, they would go to bed with him.

IxBalam
IxBalam

My old man doesn't even know how to use all the functions on the remote, he doesn't have a cell phone or use internet (we live outside the U.S.)... but he taught me to do things right and to give the best of me and to know the value of knowledge... maybe those things doesn't look like much but that make me learn and discover a lot of the world around me... thanks Dad...

patrick.reid
patrick.reid

In Australia we call it bodging - when you use whatever is available to fix something. My old man is the master of fixing stuff using seemingly useless or unusual parts. Bailing twine and fencing wire can do a heck of a lot! He gave me the ability to think outside the box and look at problems as opportunities for creativity.

dlindb9464
dlindb9464

My Dad was a mechanic all of his life. He owned his own shop when I was a kid. He taught me everything he knew about cars, trucks and engines in general. I spent 40 years building Diesel Generators. About 20 years ago, I bought my 1st computer, a Kaypro 4. I learned everything I could about that computer and took from there. I am retired now and can't really afford to do everything I'd like to, but I work on computers, buy, sell them, etc. My Dad has been gone now for 38 years, but he would find computers very interesting indeed. He had an eclectic mind.

gerbilio
gerbilio

My father was a college professor. As such he was not afraid to be unconventional, and insisted I learn to use a typewriter. He also bought an Apple II-Plus in 1981, which sent me firmly down the Apple track.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

What he gave me was the confidence to do what I wanted to do, all else is utter bollocks.

zookrod
zookrod

When I was 11 or 12 years old my Dad and I put together a Heathkit color TV. I remember this being a huge TV (for the time) and hundreds of parts that had to go just so. My Dad didn't have any training for this. I think he was a Sergeant in the National Guard at the time. Looking back on it now I can't believe he took on the project. All of those parts. Figuring out which one when where. Reading the color bands on the resistors. I can remember helping my Dad align the magnetic coil on the back of the CRT to get the three color guns to produce the color picture on the screen. That was tough. I have no idea how long it took us to get this thing working, but we did. And we had that TV as our living room TV for years. It still impresses me now. The best thing though was that my Dad and I worked together on this awesome project and he always made me feel that I was a partner in it. And it freakin' worked! I went on to get my degree in Physics and now teach IT systems - and love my job. My Dad is still going strong at 74 and we are as close as ever. Still talking nerdy subjects for hours every week.

DaveRissik
DaveRissik

I followed my dad into engineering, but his cautionary words were to go into commerce or finance if you wanted to make money. So after doing a post grad I followed a career in investment banking and did very well. However I still think back to every thing he taught me about engineering and the hours we spent in his workshop. The result is I remain infatuated with technology of all sorts and realise it is what got us to where we are today and what has really created wealth worldwide.

Alpha_Dog
Alpha_Dog

I learned electronics, troubleshooting, repair, small business management, customer relations, communications, computers (still the kind with core memory, switches and lights), driving, tower climbing, and probably a whole slew of things I can't think of off the top of my head. He passed in 1976, but I'm still learning how smart he really was.

KABay
KABay

My Dad was very active as a ham radio operator from the age of 16 (early 1940's) and was an practicing electrical engineer all his life. He was always there to foster my interests in science and learning how things worked, electrical and mechanical. I grew up on Heathkit projects so when 'personal' computers came along I was ready to tinker.

Trep Ford
Trep Ford

Dad really got the whole tech thing started in me by bringing home broken office equipment for us to take apart (this was back in the 60's). Belt style voice recorders (the "tape" was a 4" wide belt of magnetic media), electric typwriters (massive, wiggly thing) ... all manner of electro-mechanical devices were ours to take apart and (ok, not very well) put back together. What kid could resist such opportunities. His first calculator ($600, with big green LED numbers, 4 functions) was a big draw ... teaching us to use a slide rule (years later) before buying me my first calculator ($10, 5 functions) ... and teaching me how to use a light meter and fullly manual SLR. Mom and Dad both had a lot of input on the artistic side of using technology (cameras, back then, but so much more since then) ... Thanks to them both. :) Techno-art ... the coolest.

Gonzalo34
Gonzalo34

My parents were not geeks, though my mother taught me to always allow myself to explore things rather than ask permission for everything, and never be afraid of breaking things or screwing it up. She taught me to enjoy doing geeky things, which led to my career choice. Dad was very strict when I was a kid, because I was always opening up TVs and radios to check inside, leaving a trail of blown up stuff around the house. On the other hand, we used to spend a lot of time fixing the car on weekends, and I'd help him replacing spark plugs, wires or cleaning stuff. Years later, he would slowly allow me to fix other things like the house's mains wiring, install the car and house alarms, or open up the car dashboard to replace bulbs, etc. He always believed in me, and tought me that I can build confidence in others by knowing well what I was doing. This was key in my career, Ended up designing complex electronic devices for medical centers, and managing the bulk of the manufaturing process remotely. Building confidence and trust among clients and suppliers, has been the oil of the gearbox in my daily work.

carltech2000
carltech2000

My Father could, can, and will fix anything he needs to. He inspired much of my life. Because of things he could do I was found welding together a 60' lightning rod at 10years(thank goodness it was never struck), building my first go cart at 12years, re-building engines in the field at 12(still running 23 years later) Now I have my own equipment repair shop and put the old man to work on things I need a little help with occasionally. I will take a look at anything I think I can fix, hardware, software, hydraulics, electrical, radio, telescopes.The old man built his own 8" refractory telescope you could actually see the rings of Saturn. He built custom RC planes we'd fly whenever we time. He taught me to reload ammunition for varmints and birds. He taught me the intimacies of the internal combustion engine,rebuilding several together.(At 35 years I've never paid someone to fix any vehicle of mine) We used to love to ride trail bikes in the backcountry.(places we still go today) I learned to weld with him which sparked a general design and manufacture interest I still utilize today. Excessively sound financially we are not. Blissfully happy in love and life.....mostly we have been. Concerned about our financial future... not all the time.. no. Still together...absolutely... till checkout time old man.

frank.huminski
frank.huminski

Heh. Dad introduced me to my first wargame (Sniper!), was my first Dungeon Master (D&D Blue box FTW), introduced me to electronics via Ham Radio and the electronic experiment kits, and brought home our first computer (Tandy CoCo) for my brother and I to learn BASIC on. It's almost easier to list what he geeky interests he DIDN'T inspire or teach my brothers and I.

pessimist
pessimist

make radio transmitters,receivers, brother and I learned the code, electronics, mechanics and woodworking,metalworking, farming, and astronomy, the biggest chemistry set ! I was a voracious reader.Pop had some planes, a home built hydroelectric plant, a home walk-in freezer, and tons of war surplus electronic gear. He didn't do very much teaching, but in that atmosphere I thrived, "inventing" electronic gear, only to find that someone else had already done it ! Bro and I rebuilt a ford model A from 2 junkers before we were of age to drive. The "I can do anything" attitude still sticks. I've been into computers since 1960, rebuilt a vintage Mercedes, can fix almost anything (except integrated circuits), do all electronic, plumbing, carpentry, I rebuild laptops, build desktops, now getting into building networking and server setup for the home. I'm 75, but still learning every day. Pop didn't give much love, sadly, but Mom did. So, fathers, in giving your gifts of "The lore of things" be sure to add a good measure of love and affection. Your kids will treasure both.

tech-chick
tech-chick

I grew up before PCs, but my wonderful stepdad would always ask us "What did you learn today?" If we said "Nothing," he would tell us we should strive to learn something new every day. In my opinion that imbedded interest in learning is a necessary part of any technical person's makeup. Also, the very cool stereo system (complete with reel to reel) he brought home from his service in the Vietnam War first piqued my interest in electronics. I also have to throw a kudo in here for my mom too. She could design and build just about anything and taught me that a woman who is willing to work hard can do well in a male dominated field. When I started in IT in the 1990's, I was the only woman in the department for several years. Initially I had to work doubly hard to prove myself, but my willingness to learn along with my work ethic enabled me to earn the respect and acceptance as "one of the guys."

ken lillemo
ken lillemo

This engendered a love of tools to the point that I often set out to acquire new DIY skills just to use new tools. I so want a pair of drywall stilts but have not found a project tall enough to justify it yet....

a.V.s
a.V.s

My dad was a gadget lover. It was the age of "no imported stuff" in our country, but he'd buy gadgets that trickled their way into shops. Toy trains, 8mm projector, toys that took HIS fancy :-), one of the first rechargeable flashlights, etc. I'm 50 plus now, but I remember dismantling all of the things - my passion then - just to see how/why they ticked. And I remember that he NEVER scolded me, not once, for having done that, and for having broken some of them sometimes. The result has been that I've been able to open up things fearlessly, and put them back together again, mended. Toys, mechanical do-dahs, watches, sewing machines, cellphones, and now computers and notebooks, I've repaired them. Thank you, Bapu!

codylynx
codylynx

My Dad got me my first computer which was a Texas Instument TI-99. He worked manual labor but he knew this was the thing of the future. It was a very tough sale to my mother, because we didn't have the money for something so expensive. Anyways, he got it for me and i leanred how to program it in basic from the book that came with it. Had a love for them ever since.

vzettidv
vzettidv

but, my neighbor was a retired tech from ITT who instructed me on everything from the common radio to the server of the day, this was back in 1968. He was also an Army Veteran from World War 2 and a decorated soldier. Over time I learned everything about electronics, software, hardware, design and even how to be a sniper from him. My dad was mainly into outdoor sports ,car repairs and gardening. He was also good at home improvements. I graduated college with a 2 year degree and joined the Army and was deployed to DaNang and after 6 years returned home. I persued my degree in computer science and now have 57 certifications in pc support. I remain a freelance technician and run my own business.

cfc2000
cfc2000

My dad never gave me any careers advice except I saw him go to the steelworks every day and work shifts and thought that's not for me! He got me into electronics and generally fixing things, which I'm still into 55 years later. As for advice at school - what a joke. In the 60s I found myself one of the newly emerging courses at Manchester University, funded by ICL, that would give me a degree in Computer Studies and pay me a salary as well, and the careers teacher told me I would be much better off doing something in the liberal arts, as there was no future in computers. All the teachers at my school went to Oxford or Cambridge and had done Classics or similar subjects. I won't say it was the worst advice I've ever had (try "it's quite safe to drink the water in Cozumel") but it comes close.

StuEZWebPlayer
StuEZWebPlayer

My dad (who is in Heaven now) was an old school radio journalist. I say old school because there is no longer a preeminence of journalism occurring from most of the news rooms of America's radio industry. He exposed me to voice recording on an old reel to reel RCA tape recorder when I was approximately age five. In high school I worked back stage and out front in the media of stage work with sound and lighting. After high school I started in broadcasting in my home town's ABC network affiliate TV station, and worked in radio and TV for many years before going back to school and acquiring a BFA degree in Multimedia and Web Design from the Illinois Institute of Art/Chicago Art Institute. Today, I am the Art Director for EZWebPlayer.com. I absolutely love the whole concept of the automatic dissemination of information once a single message is released to mass media vehicles. And, I am so thankful that I live in America where we still have laws protecting the freedom of idea dissemination even though most of the Press does not practice journalism.

flotsam70
flotsam70

What could be more geekly than thinking chainsaws look like big toys and cutting, splitting and stacking wood is fun? And using it to heat your house.

DeidreC
DeidreC

When I was 4, my dad, an electronics tech, he returned from a business trip with an Apollo coloring book for me. I was truly impressed; I was sure he was working for NASA. A few years later he bought me the most memorable Christmas present ever, a huge box filled with an encyclopedia and a set of science books. My stepdad was an avid reader, and he introduced me to science fiction via a set of Asimov books he bought. The two of us watched sci fi movies together, and all the sci fi shows we could find on TV in the mid to late 70's. Actually, even my grandpa had an influence. He advised me to go into computers, since he figured there would be a lot of jobs there. He worked hard all his life as a millwright, and I think he wanted to see his granddaughter work in a good, white collar field after college.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Although I never took a computer programming class. I self educated my self, frpm a listing of Star Trek the TTY version written in 1974 and it educated me in 1976. That problem to be solved I recall being called the Fibernachi Series. It is a very good introduction to the purpose of using variables to hold/store/tabulate a number to accumulate a solution. The next problem was typically to create a multiplication and addition table (aka a formatted output. The fun I had was dbase II and data base creation and formatted output. Then using data it creates to plug into vistacalc. Doing taxes was the hard thing, computers all you needed was to know how to talk to it in computerize.

JCitizen
JCitizen

that your Dad was an early alternate energy aficionado! HA! After all, at least it is renewable green energy!

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

Can we say you may be a true Geek. Although Biology says you can have only one father, society will let you have to fathers, but just one biological one. But with Medical Tech these days who knows if that will always remain true.

nolandbay
nolandbay

Grandad watched me repair a pump motor for him to water his garden and said "That young bloke could make a few bob on the side doing that." Mining companies eventually paid me thousands to repair and install their pumps and machinery. Thanks Grandad I still miss you after 47 years.