It was my mom who encouraged me to tear things apart so I could figure out how they worked.
We had very little money, so I had to get creative with finding things to dismantle.
Thankfully my Uncle Pete would make weekly trips to the junkyard, and he never minded taking me along. He would always pay for whatever junk I wanted that day, which never amounted to more than a dollar or two. Thanks to the two of them, I am at where I am today, and it started with being able to fix a box fan. You see back then our little house didn’t have air conditioning, so when I fixed that box fan, it really helped out the family. Putting that fan up in the window, improved the circulation and the ventilation, and made the whole place feel a little cooler. Not a lot cooler, but enough that it made a difference to our indoor air quality and comfort levels. It emboldened me, and the next time we went to the junk yard I scouted around looking for an air conditioner of some kind. I finally got my hands on one of those old window mounted A/C units, which is basically a big heavy metal box with mounting brackets on the bottom. Uncle Pete helped me wrestle the unwieldy air conditioner into his truck, and then onto the back porch of my house. It took me about three weeks, but somehow I got that old air conditioner back to working again, and the rest is history.