Growing up, I guess you could say I was somewhat of a girlie-girl in tomboy’s clothing. While rounding second base during a game of wiffle ball, I was secretly wondering what would happen if Stefano were to escape prison and ruin Roman and Marlena’s wedding on Days of Our Lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a damsel in distress or anything, but more like just a damsel … who liked to wear dresses … and hair ribbons … and things haven’t really changed since then.
So, when Kate Carr told me I was being sent to CarWash College, in Tamarac, FL, in March for the Car Wash Equipment Maintenance Certification Program, I was presented with two major challenges. One was knowing I had to learn all about carwash equipment after only having been with the magazine for three months; and the other was, what on earth was I going to wear? Eighty degree heat, plus being around carwash equipment, plus hands-on training, it was a lot to deal with. I won’t even get into the part about how it has been about 10 years since I have taken a class, well, that is, unless you count the Pilates class I took in 2003.
But, to my surprise, CarWash College was informational without being boring, accepting without being derogatory, and challenging without being draining.
Thanks to five days of learning how to extend equipment life and reduce chemical consumption I now know the difference between a metal pillow block bearing and a flange bearing, I know how to empty the trash from a vacuum’s dirt canister, I know how rollers work, and I could even remove a link on a conveyor chain if I had to — well, maybe I would just supervise that.
I made many friends at CarWash College, both fellow students, and the instructors involved in the course. I now have a bevy of people to call if I ever have a question and those kinds of connections are priceless. I even had the pleasure of getting to meet Sonny Fazio, the founder of Sonny’s Enterprises, Inc., the largest supplier of conveyorized carwash equipment, parts and supplies in the United States, which is also where CarWash College convenes. He’s a fast-walking, honest and good old-fashioned businessman. “I think that if you’re going to do something in life,” he said during the five-day course, “do it better than anybody.”
There was a final exam at the end — out of 100 questions, I got one wrong, not bad for a girl who up until a few weeks
ago thought rollers were just something
I put in my hair on Saturday nights. And, unlike that Pilates class, I cannot wait to go back.