When Mark and Amanda Mason were moving from Ohio to Arizona, the last place they believed they wind up was Springfield, Missouri.
"I thought I would be pulling up here Havasu here in the next hour or so and getting ready to go out on my jet ski and enjoy the sun," Mark said.
But it's the first place he and his wife would choose--given the circumstances. "It's a scary thing when your car doesn't work. You depend on it--especially when you're traveling cross country; you're in the middle of the move," explained Amanda Mason.
Their Suburban sputtered into a garage where to fix it would cost around $2,000 and would blow the family's moving budget. The couple was relieved when they were told about a garage where the repairs could be made at just a fraction of that fee.
The catch to the lower cost: the strain, the struggle, and the sweat lay primarily in Mark's hands.
"I mean I'm taking apart a rear-end and putting a new rear-end in," explained Mark. "Really, I have no idea about cars."
Enter Steve Parsick.
"It's easier for me to tell you how to turn a bolt than me to do it," said Steve.
It's not a garage Steve recently opened, but a dream--his dream-called 417 - DIY. Everything he has, plus thirty years of planning and preparation, is in 17,000 square feet.
"Back when I became a mechanic years ago, I can remember wishing I had a place that I could go to and maybe rent a lift, or a bay for a day or an hour or a week," he explained.
That place is now a reality and do-it-yourselfers can rent his bays, use his tools, and follow his guidance. "We don't do it for you; we will help you do it."
From complex to easy, it can be accomplished in the shop.
Steve realizes some customers will require more help than others, but he said he's up for the challenge. He even issued one to me-to change the oil in a vehicle in 30 minutes or less.
So, I accepted his dare and I suited up. With a timer ticking, Steve was confident--so confident--he entrusted his wife's baby in my hands.
I did it!
In fewer than 22 minutes I successfully changed the oil, "That was awesome. Thank you so my much," I exclaimed to Steve who guided me every step of the way.
The garage is not only for the novice and the expert, but also the dreamer.
There's a wood-shop to build everything from cabinets to canoes and a classroom to learn about cars.
For Steve the confines of these concrete walls are about endless possibility.
"I just think it's fun to see people succeed at things." Well that, plus, "I can do things here that my wife doesn't want me doing at home," he said chuckling.
For Amanda it's a place that brought her "peace of mind." It turns out their teacher caught something that could have proven disastrous.
"I guess the drivetrain was spinning, you know, it was turning, and it was rubbing up in the middle of the car underneath and it was sawing it in half." Amanda said. "Would have just flipped on the interstate with the trailer-it would have been very, very ugly."
The beauty for them, though, is that with a little grease and a lot grit their ride is ready to roll.
"Little side adventure for sure," said Mark. "Rebuilt the rear end of a Chevy Suburban. Never will I ever forget Springfield, Missouri, nope."
The garage is located at 1529 E. Chestnut Expressway. More information on services, fees, and classes are available on the company's website 417diy.com.