Farm mechanics teacher passed on ageless knowledge

Published 6:20 am Wednesday, March 20, 2024

By Harold Brummett
Denmark Star Route

Hubert Owens taught farm mechanics at the Business and Industrial Complex. As a student of his for one year, Mr. Owens had a depth of knowledge of all things mechanical that amazed me. 

In his class, students rebuilt small engines, tractors, welded, used a cutting torch, and learned the basics of hydraulic systems. Mr. Owens had the patience of Job and the students at times tried that patience with the determination of the devil. There hasn’t been a coach, teacher, administrator I admired more than Mr. Owens. 

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It has been said that all knowledge is good. I believe that. Knowledge can be perverted too, but in a welding booth, or honing a cylinder wall, or repairing a tractor – that kind of working man’s knowledge is only good. 

Mr. Owens could run a bead on a welder that looked like a machine had done it. Level, even, tiny circles of molten metal bonded two pieces of steel together that made the weld stronger than the metal itself. After weeks of practice, I could run a poor to fair bead but no one yet could match Mr. Owens ability. 

My last interaction with Mr. Owens was at the Kroger store just after my retirement from the military. I had a chance to tell him what his class meant to me. As an armor officer and aviator, maintenance is the very essence of the modern military profession. 

Repeatedly Mr. Owens’ lessons and practical outlook on the workings of any machine would come to mind. His knowledge and example served well. 

Spring is pushing winter aside and so I grease, check fluid levels, attach, detach and service various pieces of equipment getting ready for my latest attempt at gardening. 

My daughter and son help with the parts I have difficulty with. Mr. Owens is there, too, in the knowledge he shared and the love of all things mechanical. 

Mr. Owens passed away on May 22, 2019.