SBE News

The Executive Summary #02

The Executive Summary

by Joe Chimenti

An Enduring Icon – Electric Tool & Motor Repair

It was a rainy winter afternoon in Redding and I was driving south on Hwy 273. Just south of Win-River, on the westside of the road, sits a small industrial center. I pulled in.

On the far end of the center, over a door, hung a sign: Electric Tool & Motor Repair. When I walked in, I saw every kind of tool a tradesman could imagine. Behind the desk stood an older man in overalls explaining the mechanics of a compressor to someone on the phone. When he hung up, he looked at me and said, “I can fix it, just not over the phone”. That was my introduction to Al Fork.

For over 41 years, Al has been repairing saws, drills, compressors, air tools, staple guns. “If a tradesman uses it, I can repair it”, stated Al with a sense of pride and confidence that comes from a lifetime of fixing what’s broken.

The Beginning

Al worked various jobs, including auto mechanic, until he met Tommy Thompson. “I remembered walking into his business and on the floor was a pile of tools that needed to be fixed. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I grabbed a skill saw and started taking it apart. It was all trial and error. And Tommy would certainly let me know when I was doing it right…and doing it wrong. I’ve been fixing tools ever since.”

Electric Tool & Motor Repair is located off Highway 273 in Redding. “I’ve been in this location (his 3rd) for over 16 years” stated Al. “I moved here to be closer to home.” Al and his wife Barbara were high school sweethearts and enjoyed a happy marriage for over 50 years. “Barbara passed away a few years ago, so now…I keep working. This way I stay busy and productive. Barbara wouldn’t want me sitting around the house”.

It was a pleasure to spend some time with Al. To see him at his work bench, surrounded by all the tools of his trade, gave me a sense of pride in the tradesmen who build (and fix) this great country of ours.

Al Fork…truly an enduring icon!

Electric Tool & Motor Repair
7400 CA-273
Redding, CA 96001