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There is a short story by Theodore Sturgeon about a man who can fix anything, by feeling around it (like getting vibes), and then whacking it in just the right place. The story is told from the point of view of a younger relative (I believe nephew) of the man. The narrator is a bum of a kid who is never working and always borrowing money. Through the story, it is revealed that the man can fix people, too, and he fixes the narrator by striking him in just the right manner.

I loved this story, and want to track it down, but I cannot remember the name of it, or what book it appeared in.

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Sturgeon's published quite a bit, but you could try scanning the titles over on his ISFDB page and see if something sparks your memory. –  Avner Shahar-Kashtan Dec 31 '13 at 18:38
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1 Answer

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The story is “Uncle Fremmis”, initially published in Sturgeon Is Alive and Well in 1971 and more recently in The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon in 1994.

Here Fremmis explains his knack;

"Well, I made things work. I mean like that old lawnmower of Artie Backer's, with the kerosene motor. I used to go over to Artie's every six weeks during the warm weather and kick it. Wasn't nobody but me that knew where where to kick it or how hard but me, and for me it worked."

[...]

And it all came back in a flood--Wertenbaker's tractor and Samuel's windmill pump and the church clock and dozens, scores, hundreds of other things, big and little, and Uncle Fremmis, drifting around town, knowing everybody and what everybody had that didn't work right, and making it go.

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Hi Gilles, is there a reason why you removed the link to google books from my edit? –  Richard Jan 1 at 1:19
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