A Gadget-Loving Woman

Anna-Elizabeth loved to tinker with all manner of machinery, and her propensity toward repairing anything with a motor in it was well-known throughout her community. Of course, many of the women in her small town thought it was unseemly for a girl to like to get her hands dirty. Still, Anna-Elizabeth liked taking appliances and other electrical gadgets apart and putting them back together again, just to see how they worked.

A love for all things mechanical had started at a young age, as her astonished parents witnessed her one Christmas fix her little brother’s new transistor radio, after it stopped playing music. While her father wrung his hands, trying to get Junior to stop howling, Anna-Elizabeth grabbed the thing, tinkered with this and that wires, and suddenly, music that flooded out the sounds of Junior. Her father was stunned and happy, but somewhat embarrassed to be one-upped by his ten-year-old daughter.

Dad had lots of tools and gadgets in his workshop. Indeed, he had gizmos a plenty, but not a clue what many of them actually did. He had bought them to impress his friends, and now, he was glad that they could be put to use, as Anna-Elizabeth began to fix every broken thing in the neighborhood.

The local handyman complained that it was not proper for a girl to do a man’s job, but he was as slow as a turtle, so people brought their repair jobs to Anna-Elizabeth, instead. Dressed in her mother’s torn and old blue crepe blouse and a pair of jeans, she could be seen going through the neighborhood, happily repairing appliances, blenders, irons, toys, and even lawnmowers.

Now she owns a repair shop on Main Street called We Can Do It, a tribute to Rosie the Riveter and other women who worked in the factories building America’s war supplies during World War II. It was in reading about those brave women when she was eight years old that created in her a belief that it was alright for girls to like to tinker with tools and gadgets. Her shop stays pretty busy, and today’s products are so shabbily made that she has gotten quite wealthy.

Fiction written for Three Things Challenge from the Haunted Wordsmith: crepe, radio, and turtle. Also written for September Writing Prompts: He had gizmos a plenty.

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