One day at Largent’s Garage
Back in the 1930s, Mr. Grover Largent ran an automobile garage and filling station in Lansing. It was on the southeast corner of what is now Mary Street and Highway 73.
I hung around the garage a lot because I liked watching my cousin, Bill Sherley, work on the cars. I would hand him tools when he was under a car.
In the process, I was well acquainted with Mr. Largent, who was a large and serious man.
As a 10-year-old, I kept my distance and learned just how far I could go. He had a pile of lumber outside the building. I got up enough nerve to ask about the lumber and he said, "Sure, help yourself," so I dug through the pile and found several good pieces that would make great stilts. He was a fair man.
In the office of the garage, he kept numerous fancy parts for cars. These fancy parts were valuable, so he kept them under lock and key in the office, but in addition to that he had a large junkyard dog he called Jack that patrolled the garage day and night.
Largent would secure the door of the office every night and lock Jack inside to ensure that the valued parts would be safe.
One day, one of the young boys about town asked Mr. Largent if he would consider lowering the price on a certain item. The boy told Mr. Largent that he really wanted the item but didn't have enough money to buy it at the marked price.
The old man told the boy to go away and quit bothering him about his request. The lad told Mr. Largent he better lower the price or he would just come in and take it some night. Largent just laughed at the boy and said to him, "Boy, if you can come in here and take it while Old Jack is in here, you can have it!"
The young boy left that afternoon a bit dejected by his failure to convince Mr. Largent to reduce the price.
The next morning the lad drove up to the garage with the part already installed on his car, but the capper to this story is that Mr. Largent never mentioned the incident again to anyone.