A Lovable Gruff
Transformation Magazine|September 2019
We casually meet many people on our journey. Most come and go, but some are different—leaving an imprint on our path—and a reason to honor their memories.
Jo Mooy

He was thin and lanky. His hair may have been black in his youth. It was hard to tell. When I met him, it was a nondescript color streaked with gray. He was never clean-shaven. The stubble of a beard usually looked like he attempted to shave but never quite finished the job. Sometimes he wore cutoff jeans, exposing hairy legs and knobby knees. Most times he was in a pair of grease-stained khaki pants and short-sleeved shirts that never met an iron.

His name was Gene. He owned a small car repair shop that belied the pretentious four-word name hand-painted over the door. Like him, the sign had seen better days. When answering the phone he simply said, “automotive” ignoring the other three words and giving power to the one word that summarized his work. The hours under the sign said 8:30 – 5:00 M-F. Apparently that was just a suggestion because some days he’d arrive at 10 and leave by 3:00.

The shop was tucked behind a large appliance store facing a major roadway. You had to know it was there or you’d never see it from the road.

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