A bit off topic, here: Our family didn’t have many books around the house. For those, we had the local library. But we did have some magazines. I liked to read my father’s collection of “Popular Mechanics” and “Popular Science.” They had easy to understand articles and drawn illustrations. (Newspapers and magazine still used a lot of art illustration instead of photos.)
“Popular Science” had the monthly feature “The Model Garage.” The main character was Gus Wilson, a skilled and intuitive auto mechanic. In every issue of “PS” he appeared in a short story in which various characters had puzzling mechanical problems he dealt with. By the end of each story, Gus had solved the problem. And along the way, he also solved personal problems the other characters had. Each story was a human drama on two levels. An illustration of Gus and his customers headed each story. Usually it showed one or both of them scratching their heads in frustration.
The point: It’s hard to imagine Donald Trump diagnosing and fixing car problems, let alone getting dirty (ethically dirty, sure). If there were a series of stories about him conducting his business, that series might be titled “The Trump Twaddle Garage.” Each episode, he would screw up a job and then lie to the customers to overcharge them — just as he does now in a much larger venue. Gus Wilson embraced new technologies and enjoyed the challenge of them. Donald Trump seems to fear and loathe them, either because he doesn’t understand or because he can make a big business points by ignoring or sabotaging them.
The website Gus-stories.org provides scans of the original “Popular Science” Gus Wilson stories from 1925 to the late 1960s. I enjoy reading them again. And elsewhere on the Internet there are scans of many of the PS magazine covers. Clicking through them, it’s like seeing old friends, unchanged after all these years.
April 12, 2017