Why is This Man SMILING?

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm certainly not smiling. Most garden friends that I know of are not smiling because of this rotten stretch of stinky Spring weather. So -- why on Earth is this long-time gardener in a good mood?

Let me introduce you to Mr. Bill Knight of Elverta. Bill likes to garden. Yes he does. But he also likes it when it rains -- and rains again -- and yet again.

You see -- everytime those raindrops fall? Bill makes money.

I suppose an explanation is in order.

Bill Knight is the long-time owner of L and G (Lawn and Garden) Mower Shop in the tiny hamlet of Elverta. His shop is a throwback to another day and time -- when lawn mowers were considered rather "expensive" items. You didn't just toss them out when they broke down.

No -- you took them to people like Bill Knight who got them running again.

Sadly -- in our "disposable" society -- there aren't many lawn and garden shops left around the Sacramento County area anymore. Oh sure -- you'll find a handful. But it's not like you find these places on every street corner.

His shop -- which I love to visit by the way -- is like taking a step back in time. This isn't some "neat n' tidy" Big Box store. This is a man's man repair shop. Got a problem with that two-cycle engine? The lawnmower just kicked the bucket? The riding lawnmower will only go in circles? That tractor isn't getting any traction?

Call Bill Knight in Elverta. He's got the answer. No matter what the engine problem is -- Bill can fix it without fail.

I first met Bill last year when I purchased a used Mantis Rototiller. I wanted to know one thing: did I strike gold with this purchase? Or did I just set a $150 dollar bill on fire? Bill assured me that the engine to the Mantis was in fine working order -- and after a quick tuneup -- I was churning up the yard last spring. The Mantis worked like a charm.

But -- after sitting all winter -- I noticed that my Mantis wasn't performing all that well this spring. It was hard to start. It didn't run well -- and worse yet? When you gave it the gas? Instead of digging up the garden -- it just died.

Something wasn't right. While I'm proud of my knowledge in certain areas -- it doesn't extend to two-cycle engines. If you need an irrigation design? Call Bill Bird. I can solve any problem. Simple electrical jobs like installing light fixtures? Switches? Drilling through walls to install a new outlet? Piece of cake!

But I'm lost around engines. That's why I found myself in Bill's shop earlier this spring -- where he greeted me with a large smile -- and a simple solution to my Mantis problems. One $27 repair job later -- I was out the door and tilling up the yard again.

As for Bill -- well -- as it turns out -- he explained to me one day why he loves rain in the springtime: "Rain causes the grass and weeds to grow," he explained. "So, instead of tilling up or mowing the acreage just once -- spring rains force homeowners to do the job all over again."

And that's when I made the connection and told him: "And those machines break down and everyone calls you, right?"

He nodded rather mischievously.

So -- while the rest of us hear just raindrops? Bill hears the sound of silver dollars slamming down on the patio cover. Somewhere -- close by -- a tractor or a riding lawnmower is about to break down.

As you might suspect -- with all this May rain? Bill's been just a tad busy. I wouldn't be surprised if he's busted a spring or two on his cash register. While the rest of us fret and worry over the weather? Bill just smiles.

You can reach L and G Mower Shop at (916) 992-8426. Bill's shop is located in a tucked away corner at 7813 Rio Linda Blvd. in Elverta. Be advised that Bill closes up shop a tad early on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays and Mondays.


Jenn's Cooking Garden! said...

I do believe I know where this is. It used to be the old Elverta post office before we got our new one! I didnt realize he tunned up tillers! May be paying him a visit. Always willing to help near by buissnesses!

Bill Bird said...

Thanks Jenn. Tell Bill that, "Bill senta ya."

Garry said...

i love old shops like that too. they have an ambiance that is unmatched. placerville hardware is simliar - been in business since the gold rush - i would bet one could find some exact product that has been on the shelf since the 1950's. its not an over sterile, computer driven inventory. you need it? they will have it. also - make it a habit of buying some fuel preservative and squirt it into the gas can everytime you fill it up at the gas station. todays fuel is horrible and quickly loses its octane punch and all you have left is junk and a non working engine.



This weather is fantastic. What on God's green earth are you talking about? Keep the this beautiful weather coming.

Bill Bird said...


It may be beautiful down in your neck of the woods (Bakersfield) -- but it's downright horrid up north. Great blog by the way. Glad you found me so I could find you.


A Deacon's Wife said...

My DR Trimmer hasn't broken down yet, but it's been in near constant use for months. It's a ways away, but I'll keep Bill's shop in mind. And I agree with you about the weather. My tomatoes need some heat!