If 10th Street Garage’s  MIKE?ZINSLI had to play a sport, what wouldn’t he choose?


Do you have any pets?

Oh do I have pets, yes! Well, I grew up on a small farm and had animals and pets pretty much all my life. My wife and I, we have two dogs and four cats. The cats are primarily her cats, and I’ve always been able to just take ‘em or leave ‘em.  I always told myself I’d never become a fat old man with a small dog on his lap in the truck. Well I have, and I have two, Rusty and Sophie, and they have made such an impact on our lives.

What is one of your favorite memories as a child?

I had a very fortunate childhood. I’m the oldest of nine — I have six brothers and two sisters. And I had a lot of [memories]. I had super parents and I have a lot of really good childhood memories, and it would be very difficult to say which one was a favorite.

Did you have a favorite teacher in school?

I couldn’t say I had a particular favorite teacher — I had a lot of good teachers. I would say if I had any teachers that I would consider a favorite, they were probably the ones that approached discipline the most casually. And as a result of that, they probably realized the most respect from the students.

Do you have any nicknames?

Not that can be put in the paper! But when I was growing up, I was known as Mick, I think that was from my dad.

What made you happy today?

My wife works three days a week — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On those three days, I go home and check on our two babies, Rusty and Sophie, and the greeting I get when I walk in there, you just can’t be anything but happy.

What is something you’re not very good at but love to do?

Golf. I tried my hand at it. I haven’t had the opportunity to do it for a number of years and when I did it I was never very good at it.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Peter Graves. Because once when I was younger, someone told me that I reminded them of Peter Graves. But I don’t know why it wasn’t James Arness, because they were brothers.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?

That’s a toughy. I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever had anything I’d classify as the worst, there’s just some I’m say were better than others. As far as things that are edible and that are considered normal consumption, none.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

I don’t do well in traffic: the waiting, the indecisiveness of the other driver. It’s the people that have all day to go nowhere.

You just won the lottery – what are the first three things you’ll do with the money?

Probably like what everyone else says, I would pay some bills. And I’d consider retiring and traveling. People talk about traveling to far away places but there are some great places right here in the Pacific Northwest. That’s where I’d start.

Born in Flint, Mich., Mike Zinsli was raised in southeast Portland.

After serving in the Oregon National Guard, Zinsli worked in auto shops before moving here in 1993. He opened the Zinsli family business, Long Beach’s 10th Street Garage, in May 2000. He lives in Klipsan with his wife, Dena, and has five children and eight grandchildren.

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