I first met my nephew, Riley Birky, when he was 9 years old, and his mom, Rachel Schulenberg married my brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg. Over the years that he has been in our family, Riley has gone through the fairly typical years of a kid, with the teen years being typically the most tumultuous, as is the case with most teens. While those were tough times for Riley, one thing that you could always count on, was that you could always count on Riley. Riley might not have always been excited about helping out, but if he said he would help you with something, he would. He always had a tendency to take care of everybody before himself. If there is a call for assistance with something, Riley will be the first to respond. His mom say of Riley, “He is so brave and committed and always striving to do his best.”
Those kid days are long gone now, and Riley is grown up. He works very hard doing concrete work at Griffis Quality Fencing and Welding in Powell, Wyoming. Riley likes his job and is a great employee. He finds the work interesting. Riley has grown into a good man, and that is one of the best things that can be said about a man. Riley likes his job, but it isn’t all that he is about. Like most people, your job is what you do to earn money to do what you want to do. Riley likes adventure…doing something new and exciting. He also loves the outdoors.
Riley has grown up so much in the past year. He has a great group of friends, who have been there for him. He has also been blessed with a wonderful girlfriend, Sierah Martin, and her two-year-old son, Jace. Riley loves kids, and was always such a great big brother to his brother, Tucker Schulenberg. They don’t get to see each other as much as they used to, since Tucker lives in Casper, but they are still close. Riley was also blessed this year to become a godparent to a sweet little boy. I think that has been a great honor to him. Today is Riley’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Riley!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When most of the men in the family have a tendency toward mechanics, you will find that the older men teach the younger men the ropes. That is the best way to learn…by example. Most of the young men who are learning from the adult men are in their teens, but sometimes you get an overachiever, who wants nothing more than to be a mechanic. It seems to be in their blood…even as little kids.
My nephew, JD was like that. If a car was being worked on, JD was there. It’s almost as if he could smell it. He wanted nothing more than to come out and help…even if it was only handing Bob, or one of the other men, the tools they needed to work on the cars. He has never wanted anything more than to work on cars. These days it is very likely that you will find JD in the garage working on a car until the wee hours of the morning. And he has plenty of them to work on too. He owns at least 8 vehicles. I guess that early training kind of made him just a bit of a fanatic!!
Our family really doesn’t need to take a car in to be worked on for anything. We have mechanics that can work on engines, transmissions, radios, maintenance, and even body work, which isn’t really mechanics, but falls into a similar category, since it is done to a car. All of these guys came up the ranks…taught by the men who came before them. And all of them were very motivated to learn all they could about cars. It makes for a great support system for our cars.
Some of the men have tried over the years to train up some girl mechanics, and more than one of us make pretty good assistants, including me. Most of the women in the family really never took to the mechanical side of things, however. Still, that didn’t stop the men in the family, and especially Bob, from trying to turn the women, and especially his girls and me, into mechanics. He started trying to have the girls help him when they were just toddlers. They loved being out there with their dad, standing on the bumper, and watching him work on the cars. Unfortunately, all too soon, boys came into their lives, and the mechanic lessons were quickly forgotten. I guess, you can’t fight love with mechanics, because love will win out every time. Today, our girls don’t work on cars much. Either their husbands do, or Bob does. Of course if Bob does it, he still requires them to help. He doesn’t give up easily.