Roger Kwapich, owner of Smitty's Automotive, is the creator and 15-year host of the nationally syndicated "The C.A.R. Show"  radio program.

5916 W. Sylvania Avenue
(at Holland - Sylvania)
Toledo, OH 43623
Phone: (419) 882 - 4991
M-F: 7am - 6pm
Sat: Closed
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West Toledo 
5750 Jackman Rd.
(Jackman & Alexis)
Toledo, OH 43613
Phone: (419) 478-1309
Toll Free: (888) 273-1307
M-F: 7:00am -6pm
Sat: 8am - 2pm
[Click for more info and map]
Toledo Automobile Repair & Service. We service your Automobile, Auto, Car, Truck, Pick Up, RV, and Motor Home. Toledo Automotive Repair, Maintenance & Service Specialist, Serving Toledo & Northwest Ohio Auto Owners for over 50 Years.

Ohio Automobile Repair & Service, Serving Toledo, Sylvania, Perrysburg, Waterville, Springfield, Oregon, Rossford, Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Holland, Monclova, Lime City, Swanton, and Delta, Ohio Automobile Owners.

Michigan Automobile Repair & Service Service, Serving Adrian, Lambertville, Temperance, Berkey, Bedford, Samaria, Ottawa Lake, Metamora, Riga, Blissfield, Palmyra, Deerfield, Petersburg, Ida and Monroe, Michigan Automobile Owners.
2 convenient locations 

Smitty's Automotive proudly serves the Toledo, Sylvania and surrounding areas in Northwest Ohio
Tales From the Road:
Country Roads

I was sick of things. I was sick of work, sick of school and sick of the day to day drudgery. It was a lot of sick. But most of all, I was sick of people. I can’t blame anyone but myself, really. I came up with the (not so) great idea of paying my own way through college as I went along; juggling three low-wage jobs and going to school full time. It lasted a few semesters before everything caught up with me, and the whole situation fell on me like a ton of used textbooks. 

Two of the three jobs I worked in were in service and dealt with a lot of people: food service and cashier. And though I kept my smile and polite demeanor, I did so through a veil of fatigue and a mind that was in a constant scramble to keep up with everything. It made me regret every hollow greeting, every dirty plate I picked up and every candy bar I rang in.

And as the days dragged on, I became less and less patient with the minor annoyances of the people around me: chewing with their mouth open, talking over me, complaining about the price of a four-pack of wine coolers...and don’t even get me started on their driving habits.

To me, the solution was simple: I’d take a break from it all. Spring break was coming up and I could escape from school and work--but most of all from my fellow species. So, after scheduling the much-needed time off, I tossed my backpack in the trunk of my car and left Toledo.

I had no idea where I was going--just a general direction, which was just fine by me. I did know I wanted to see the Smoky Mountains. And until I reached them, I kept a road atlas on the passenger seat for reference to make sure I got there. But after I crossed the Ohio border into West Virginia, I tossed the atlas into the backseat and just drove. 

It was a great feeling, not having to plan anything or sort out schedules. And once I figured my car having problems accelerating was the thin air (I had never driven in the mountains before), I was enjoying myself immensely. I didn’t worry about where my next stop would be. I brought a stock of Gatorade and beef jerky. When I was hungry, I ate. When something caught my interest, I stopped there. When I was tired, I parked off the road and hiked into the hills with my backpack bag to sleep. 

I replaced the road atlas with a stick. When I would come across a crossroad that I liked, I would toss the stick into the air and go whatever direction it pointed to when it landed. And, yes, sometimes it pointed back the way I came from. But there was no denying its power. So, back I would go.

There’s a lot to be said for randomness. And the routine of non-routine. Those first days fluttered by, unlabeled and unstructured segments of time. It seemed to do the trick, as I felt the stress of work and school melt through the accelerator of the Grand LeMans and onto the West Virginia roads that snaked through the Smokies. I had my car, my sleeping bag and my beef jerky. I needed nothing else--especially other people.

But something always seems to up when things are looking to good, and snap you back to reality. At the time, it was a tire that gave out on a tight curve, sending my car off the road and headlong toward the trees.

(continued part 2)