July 16, 2014

Like a deer in headlights

By ALLAN TINKER

The contact was casual; a friend saw an ad on Facebook and told Steve Bennett that they were looking for a guy between 50 and 60 that worked on old cars as a hobby.

That interested Steve and he called the photographer.

A photo session and photos back to 3-M/Ace Bandages and he was picked. "I was like a deer in headlights," Bennett said, as to what followed. Another photo shoot, this time with arm wraps on his elbow and an interview about his old car hobby, and he was a new "Everyday Champion" for Ace Brand bandages. His Studebaker Hawk and 1969 Dodge had paid off in ways he had never thought.

Old cars in life came easy for Steve, with his dad Clayton Bennett, an auto body shop owner on the family farm with grandfather Earl and grandmother Edna Bennett in the bigger house nearby. Mom Virginia (Coombs) and brother Sheldon and sister Tracy rounded out the family.

Bennett graduated from McClusky High School in 1981 and spent a year at Minot State College studying mechanics. Then another nine months at Bismarck State College where he learned welding. He spent another two years later on at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota, where he learned machine tool and die skills. He earned his associates degree from there in 1997.

For his work life, Bennett has spent some time driving a grain truck when he was only 15 years old and in a welding shop nearby their farm. Then it was on to road construction and copper and gold mines in Arizona and Nevada where he serviced equipment.

Later he worked as a mechanic for five years for Dakota Rhoads Masonry; four years for Master Tool and Die in Eagan, Minnesota; another four years for Kane Transport as a Mechanic, also in Minnesota, and then one year for Braun Turf Farm (sellers of sod) as a mechanic. Then he painted houses in Farmington, Minnesota for eight years. He has been with Tool and Die in Farmington for the past two and one-half years. He lives with his son Aaron, who is an electrician. Both men are single.

 


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