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.

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