Where in the World is this mechanic? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Where in the World is this mechanic?

^ George's favorite work is turning crankshafts. ^ George's favorite work is turning crankshafts.

March 28, 2003

Time stands still at the Chambless garage, which is just fine for George Chambless. Time doesn't matter as long as he is grinding a crankshaft.

"I love to grind crankshafts. I just like watching it, and it means money in my pocket."

How long has he been doing it?

"Since I was a teen."

So as he turns 84 years old, you know that's a lot of grease under his nails.

"I got them clean when we went to Canada. That was 10 years ago."

The only thing more permanent that the dirt on his hands is his location--here since 1947. He's only moved once, from the building next store. And after so many years here, the only sign is on his rags. He doesn't bother putting one on the building.

"Everybody knows where I am at."

At the age of 6 George could find the plugs and points on a Model T. And today he can find anything else. It may look like a mess, but there's the heads, alternators, tools, crankshafts, starters, springs, and camshafts. It's organized to him. And over there is the first tool he bought during World War Two.

"Because of the war rations, I had to get a certificate to prove need before I could get it."

And so time seems to have left this garage behind. Inside, you'll find George with a plan,

"To grind crankshafts as long as I can."

And you'll find the experience that the drivers of Dawson, and all of southwest Georgia have known about for generations.

There are two things that upset George-- foreign cars and the price of gas today. He used to pay 20 cents a gallon. Chambless Garage is in Dawson across from the Ford dealership off Highway 82.

posted at 9:00AM by: kentw@walb.com