On a crisp Ohio morning in late November, Michael Oberdick climbed into his car and settled in for a long ride. A very long ride. Over the next 12 days, Michael would cross 13 states and drive 2,000-plus miles through the American Midwest. But this wasn’t your typical road trip. Instead of stopping to see the sights, Michael stopped to see repair shops. His goal: meet as many people in the electronics repair community as possible.
Grieving is a weird process, and part of mine involved spending time with my dad’s old bike. The thing was a mess. The tires were brittle and crumbling, spokes askew, rims warped. All the shiny bits were coated in rust. The headset was seized as the packing grease had petrified into a crust. Spiderwebs shrouded every nook and cranny. It looked ready for the junk heap; it hadn’t been touched in nearly 30 years. Fixing it meant the world to me.
Big Bird and the gang instantly transport me back to my childhood—in footie pajamas, singing along to Sesame Street’s familiar theme song. Since its premiere in 1969, Sesame Street has taught millions of kids around the globe to count, read, and sing. But Sesame Street also teaches kids something that can’t be taught in schoolbooks—the value of caring for themselves, their community, and the world. What better way to teach some of life’s greatest lessons than through repair?