So, for no particular reason, a piece of my childhood crossed my mind today. When I was a wee bit my dad, who owns his own mechanic business, would run into town to the parts store nearly every day. Often I would ride along. We'd drive the six miles into town to pick up what he needed for whatever repair he was working on.
The auto parts store, NAPA Auto Parts to be exact, was no place for a girlie girl but that was ok with me. Back then I was quite the tomboy usually covered in dirt, grease and whatever gunk I came across in old combines and tractors.
The door to the store was wood with a large glass insert and a bell that alerted the staff that someone had entered. The wood floors were marred with years of build-up from greasy boots. The grimy counter was just a few steps inside the door. Vinyl covered, backless, metal bar stools - complete with the NAPA logo - ran along the customer side of the counter. I would hoist myself up on a stool and swivel around and around.
A few spins of the chair and the "parts guy" would emerge from among the shelves loaded with dusty boxes of parts on the other side of the counter to greet my dad. A bit of weather and harvest talk between the man-folk would ensue before he flipped open a large book loaded with black and white pictures and part numbers. The men would compare the drawings to whatever part Dad had brought along and then the parts guy would disappear behind the shelves only to reemerge with a beat up box. The new part would be compared to the old, a ticket would be written, a dirty, weathered cash register would work it's number magic and that was that.
While I can't remember his name the "parts guy" was always cheerful, friendly and just a gool ol' boy. When I would go in the store he would always address me as Matilda.
Matilda? How did he come up with that? Well, in the course of small talk he found out that one of my favorite comic strips was Broomhilda. He thought Matilda would fit me just fine.
If you're not familiar with Broomhilda, she was a cigar smoking, beer drinking, man chasing witch. The perfect role model for a young Ghoulie Girl don't ya think?
I took a few minutes today to search out Broomhilda on the web. I was thrilled to find that there are a lot of the old comic strips online so I've got lots of reading and reminiscing to do.
So, here's to Broomhilda. May her beer mug never run dry!