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By Robin Dearing
After picking up breakfast at the bagel shop downtown Saturday morning, Margaret and I walked down to the toy store. Mar had some allowance saved up supplemented by Tooth Fairy donations and she was itching to spend it. Mike, the owner of Toys for the Fun of It, greeted us as we entered and immediately asked me where Bill was. I explained that he was on his way home from taking a group of students to the state SkillsUSA competition in Colorado Springs (Bill teaches machining and math at WCCC at the college level). Mike wanted to tell Bill that he had the opportunity to see some of the work coming out of WCCC's machine shop and was impressed by it. I knew what he meant. I am amazed over and over again by what a good machinist can do. A couple months after we bought our house seven years ago, the plastic knob on our washing machine broke off. I brought the broken parts to Bill and said, "We need to buy a new washer." He laughed and took the broken pieces to work with him the next day. That night he brought home a new knob machined out of aluminum. He made a new knob. Then a couple years later, the drummer in my band stripped an important screw out of her drum kit. Bill brought the kit to his shop. He made her a new screw. He. Made. A. Screw. You don't make screws. Screws are bought from screw farms where they grow lovingly cared for by screw farmers. Right? Needless to say, I'm mystified by what my husband does for a living and even more amazed that he can teach others to do it, too. And he does one heck of a job. This year at the SkillsUSA state competition, one of his WCCC students won first place in precision machining technology. This student will now go on to the national competition. The winner of that will move on to the international competition — last year's international competition was held in Helsinki, Finland. It's a big deal for Bill, his student and WCCC. It's so nice when hard work pays off. Congratulations to all the WCCC students who participated and did their best in SkillsUSA state competition.