Throwback Thursday: 'Life of a Parts Person'

Throwback Thursday: ‘Life of a Parts Person’

While thumbing through the Counterman archives, we uncovered an absolute gem of a Letter to the Editor in the September 1991 issue.

In the spirit of “Throwback Thursday” (as they call it in the social media world), Counterman is firing up the time machine and setting the coordinates for 1991.

That’s right. We’re going way back.

While thumbing through the Counterman archives, we uncovered an absolute gem of a Letter to the Editor in the September 1991 issue.

It was from Dale Cooper of Robbins Auto Parts in Dover, New Hampshire, and it wasn’t your average letter to the editor. In fact, it was a poem, entitled, “The Life of a Parts Person.”

Here it is:


I claim I’m no mechanic,

But when the job goes sick

The mechanic comes and asks me

What makes the darn thing tick?


I’m supposed to know

Numbers of bolts, nuts and gears

For every car that was ever made

For more than 50 years.

I’m an engineer and machinist

And what not, oh Lord.

I’m supposed to be an Edison

Combined with Henry Ford.


But life would be a pleasure

And I’d grin from ear to ear

If the customer would only tell me

The make, model and year.


Based on our conversations with counter professionals, Cooper’s words still ring true today, more than 25 years after he submitted the poem to Counterman. Wherever you are, Dale, thanks for bringing us a grin from ear to ear with your poetic take on the life of a counter pro.

You May Also Like

GPC Reports 2023 Results, Announces Global Restructuring Program

The restructuring includes a voluntary retirement offer in the United States.

Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) reported full-year 2023 sales of $23.1 billion, a 4.5% year-over-year increase.

Net income was $1.3 billion, or $9.33 per diluted share, an increase of 12.3%.

Full-year net sales in the Automotive Parts Group, which includes NAPA Auto Parts, were $14.25 billion, up from $13.67 billion in 2022.

Fourth-quarter automotive sales were up nearly 1% to $3.5 billion.

AutoPartSource/Momentum USA Receives O’Reilly’s Sales & Service Award

This is the second year in a row that O’Reilly has honored AutoPartSource/Momentum USA with the award.

Momentum USA OReilly
Kalitta Motorsports, Dayco Announce Partnership, Distributor Agreement

Dayco will have branding on J.R. Todd’s DHL GR Supra funny car, and Kalitta is the exclusive at-track distributor of Dayco 11-mm racing blower belts for nitro engines.

Dayco Kalitta
Auto-Wares Recognizes Six Companies with Supplier Awards

DRiV received the 2023 Supplier of the Year Award.

DRiV Auto Wares

Other Posts

NPW Adds Automotive Installers Warehouse to its Network

AIW has been an NPW customer since 2013.

O’Reilly Honors DMA with 2 Awards at Leadership Conference

DMA took home the Content and Omnichannel Award and the Marketing and Advertising Award.

DMA O'Reilly
VIPAR Heavy Duty Supplier Advisory Council Reviews Performance, Strategy

At its semi-annual meeting, the council discussed current and expected market conditions and opportunities.

VIPAR Heavy Duty
MANN+HUMMEL’s NA Aftermarket Brands Support Right to Repair

The Right-to-Repair movement has gained momentum in recent years.

MANN+HUMMEL Right to Repair