Blind as a B.A.T.
January 26, 2011 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Bart Hickey is an incredibly inspiring blind auto mechanic who owns his own shop called B.A.T. Automotive. [SLVimeo]
posted by gman (7 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Beautiful! Thank you.

It was neat to hear his voice and for me to know in a couple of syllables that he was from the neck of the woods where I grew up- Alsip is a hardscrabble south suburb of Chicago.

Also, I wonder if he has any idea how sexy he is....
posted by ethnomethodologist at 4:02 PM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Awesome. I'm a parts guy, been one for nearly 20 years, although now I'm on the corporate end of things, but I remember when I was a kid working behind the counter we had one old guy who came in the store about once a week who'd been a sonar operator on a US Navy sub in WWII and afterwards, and the radiation from the CRTs (or whatever) they used had killed his eyesight to the point that he could see light and dark, but that was about it. He had an early-60's Thunderbird, and when he came in (with his son driving/guiding) looking for something, we'd unbox it and hand it to him. He always seemed to know whether it was the right part or not just by the feel of it.

His son said it was the damndest thing he'd ever seen the way his dad wrenched away on that old T-bird in a pitch black garage, but obviously he did ok, they'd drive the car into town every now and then, and it was obviously well kept. Good post.
posted by rhythim at 5:10 PM on January 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Awesome. I can understand how he does it, too...watching as his hands ran over parts. It's like his hands become Mars rovers, completely autonomous but reporting back...
posted by notsnot at 5:48 PM on January 26, 2011

Dumb question: The first thing Bart did when he entered the garage was to turn on the lights. Why?
posted by milnak at 7:46 PM on January 26, 2011

Milnak - for the cameras. Or, when tape's not rolling, for anyone else that may come in.
posted by notsnot at 8:45 PM on January 26, 2011

Mllnak, another thing is that many--most--blind people have some light perception. Total NLP (no light perception) blindness is common only in cases where one's eyes have been amputated (as with cancer), otherwise destroyed, where optical nerves are severed, or of course where one is born without eyes. So he might turn on lights, if he is somebody who can sense light as well as the direction from which it comes, to find his way around the shop ("office is that way").

As well as notsnot mentions, there are customers and employees there too.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 8:44 AM on January 27, 2011

The world is now on notice. Hickeys shall not be kept down.
posted by Hickeystudio at 1:45 AM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

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