Tales of an Accidental Shop Owner Part 2 in a Series

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Jamie Dodd is a refugee from Southwest Kansas, finding her forever home (unless winter won’t give it up) in beautiful Colorado Springs.  Growing up on a farm and only driving a tractor once gave Jamie the unique ability to run from anything mechanical at a very young age.  So as life likes to be, it’s completely ironic that she is now the proud owner of Autosmith, an automotive repair facility in downtown Colorado Springs.

I started driving at 12.  It was one of those things you start when your feet can reach the pedals and you can see over the steering wheel.  In a small town, especially a farm town, it was an accepted (although illegal) practice.  Now my 12 year old nephew can’t even ride in the front seat, let alone drive.  By the time I was 14 I had my driver’s license.

My very first car was a 1969 GMC farm truck.  It was a beast.  Not only was it a beautiful shade of pea green, ran on leaded gasoline, it came with its very own form of air conditioning; a child sized hole in the floor of the passenger side.  I hated that truck.  It stunk, ran rough and was embarrassing to drive.  I can remember praying every day it wouldn’t start so I could take my mom’s car to work.  Did I mention, I hated that truck!

When my grandpa brought the truck over for me to use, it was in really rough shape.  I had to clean out the rat’s nests (this was a few years before the Hantavirus scare), vacuum the years of grim that was stuck to the floor, and scrub the interior and exterior so it was at least clean enough to see and drive without having a cloud of dirt blow in your face anytime the wind picked up.  Remember it was Kansas, the wind is always picking up.

I think about how driving that truck taught me to appreciate life a little differently.  I can remember lots of times where I was “driving that truck” through life.  Hoping I wouldn’t start that day, watching the world pass by through that child sized hole in the floor, or having an excuse to take someone else’s life for a drive.

I think we sometimes get stuck thinking about what could have been, what should have been, or only if’s.  We think about how if we could change the past, our present and future would look completely different.  I’ve realized that my past is what is making my present and future what it is.  If I hadn’t driven that ugly truck for a summer, I wouldn’t have learned to appreciate what reliable transportation looked like.  I wouldn’t be in a position where I can make that a reality for my customers.

Now I’m in the driver’s seat of whatever vehicle I choose to drive.  I stopped living in that 1969 pea-green pickup, expecting the least out of life, watching the world pass by.  I still don’t know a thing about cars and probably will only have a general working knowledge throughout my life, but I am embracing it wholeheartedly.  Now I get to focus on what I am great at, being the proud owner of Autosmith and valuing every single one of my customers!

Jamie Dodd, CPC
Owner, Autosmith Colorado Springs