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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy

I look like him.

Ooops, I meant to post this Sunday!
I watched him create with his hands all my life. I watched him build our house--twice. He could use nothing and make something useful and valuable to our family. It seems like anything we needed, he could make. Any repairs to the house or car were done by him. Of course, he did use new materials, but it seemed he got deals or bartered for so many items.


Plus, others sought to buy what he made. He was a contractor who had work lined up for months because he took pride in his work. Wallpaper hanging was his business, but sheet rock work came along with that.

Whatever he did, he recounted to my mother in excruciating detail how he did what he did and why he did not do another thing. Often, he explained what he tried that did not work. Of course, I probably heard about 90% of these conversations since there were no electronic time wasters in our lives. He finally relented and purchased a TV when I was eight. Three days later, he took it back because he could not read while it was on. Too much racket." When I was fourteen, for some reason he did buy another. At any rate, it was not on much when he was around. So, when I was not reading, I was soaking up problem-solving skills. Mostly, I learned that problems could be solved.

He made many toys for us. We still have some of them to this day. I loved to go out and watch him make anything in the yard or in his shop. I still love to watch anything being made by hand.
Every night after he ate dinner, he took an hour or less nap and went out to his workshop and worked for several hours. He had an indefatigable spirit that only faded as he developed the later stages of cancer. Even through the emphysema that preceded the cancer, he did not slow down.

He often helped people who could not afford to have work done--plumbing, roofing. Usually, these were older women who had little means to pay for work. He stopped to help strangers on the road all the time. Those were less dangerous times back then.

He had no time for TV. When he stayed indoors, he read voraciously. He read everyday for at least an hour. Heaven help the person who interrupted him.
I learned some very good habits from him.  I learned some very bad habits to avoid along the way. And, I did avoid those habits.

Your turn
Were you priviliged to watch your father work around the house or in his shop? Or, is there anything about your father that stands out?
  

 

6 comments:

  1. My Dad was fantastic with his hands - he was a shipwright so not surprising really.

    I built so much in our old house.

    I have one very special thing of his still - it is a large castle. He built it for me for Christmas when I was about 8 I suppose. It is about 4ft square when all together, outter battlements then with an inner keep modeled on Rochester castle keep near where we live. Working drawbridge and metal portcullis.

    It is still in my attic. My son played with it for a few years when he was younger - I remember it being a permanent feature in his bedroom one summer. One day I hope to pass it to a grand child and hopefully they'll get just as much from it as two generations already have

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  2. What a great photo and he sounded like a great man.
    Your Friend, m.

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  3. Furtheron,
    That sounds like a marvelous toy. You obviously learned lots from him. As for passing on the castle, keep it at your house and let grandchildren play with it there. If you have more than one child, that way it will be where you can lure gradchildren from both children to your house and enjoy watching them play with your possession as your son did. I have a toy my daughters and son played with that Daddy made me. I cannot bear for it to leave my possession. My daughter is mightily miffed, but it is mine. She gets it when I am gone. That was a good story you told. I think I would love to play with that now!

    Mark,
    Thank you. He was in his twenties, I think. He did have some very positive aspects to him.

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  4. Wow! I'm glad you shared this with your readers, about your father. He sounds like a man who earned great respect.

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  5. He sounds like a great man, and was probably respected by everyone who knew him too.

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  6. Lili and Sue,
    His word was good in many places. He could call places where he traded and have work done on my sister's car and tell them he would be in later to pay. No one ever turned him down because he never failed to pay his debts. He established long-term relationships with businesses, local mom and pops and national chains.

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