Cape Central Shop Classes

This is going to be an easy posting for me. Easy, because I don’t have any details and I won’t have to do any research. I think I recognize some of the boys in the pictures, but I’m going to let you fill in the blanks.

As a special bonus, I WILL share with you all I have learned about electrical and plumbing repairs. It will become abundantly clear that I didn’t take any shop classes.

Sylvester, don’t die on me

I’ve always admired folks who can fix things. Dad had a mechanic, Sylvester, working for him. Sylvester was functionally illiterate, but he was a whiz with tools. He had an innate sense of how things fit together and how they worked.

During the winter, when they couldn’t build roads and bridges, Dad would put him to work performing maintenance on the heavy equipment. One day, Dad went into the mechanic shed and saw a whole dragline broken down to pieces, parts, nuts and bolts. Everything was neatly arranged so that it could be put back together using whatever plan Sylvester had in his head.

Dad shook his head, said, “Sylvester, don’t die on me,” and left him to his work.

Electricity is trustworthy

Electricity is easy. You do the work, then you turn on the power. One of three things happens:

  • It works. Life is good.
  • It doesn’t work. Life isn’t quite so good, but you start all over and fix the problem.
  • Sparks fly and smoke fills the room. That’s the least good, but, now you know right away that there’s something wrong and you can fix it.

Plumbing is sneaky

Plumbing, on the other hand, is sneaky. You can do your work, turn on the water main and have water squirt out in the sink like it’s supposed to.

It’s only at 2 a.m. on the second day out of a three-week vacation that it decides to break somewhere in the wall. When you come back, your first clue that something is wrong is when you look in the living room window and a fish is staring back at you.

Do NOT open the front door. You know that annoying little kid who lives next door? Pay HIM a quarter to do it.

Gallery of shop class photos

Click on any photo to make it larger. Click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. If you click and sparks fly out of your computer, it’s an electrical problem. If you see a fish swimming in your monitor – and you don’t have a water-themed screen saver – that points to plumbing. Sorry, that’s the best I can do for you. (BTW, Sylvester didn’t die before he got the dragline back together.)


6 Replies to “Cape Central Shop Classes”

  1. The three students sitting in th middle of the first row in the classroom photo are; Terry Bock, Henry Scheussler and John Brown. circa 1965

  2. These are some GREAT pictures from the 60’s!!!!! I remember that one valve grinding machine and there’s Mr McNeely helping a student. the others looked like woodworking class but really GREAT MEMORIES and PHOTOS!!!!!!!!

  3. Thank you so much for posting these pictures. I can’t wait to show them to my husband. My husband is Cape Central High’s new high school shop teacher. He teaches woods, metals, and small engines. My personal favorite is the shot in the classroom with the teacher at the desk.

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