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Honor this Man, People!

June 13, 2008

Warning: This post is going to stray quite a bit from the usual BLCB topics and things might get a little cheesy.

Father’s day is almost here and since I forgot to send a card I thought it might be time to honor one of, if not THE most important and influential person in my life (besides Gene Simmons).

My Dad.

He has a short fuse. He’s hard of hearing. He snores (I shared a camper with him last weekend and almost slept on the picnic table just to get away). He cleans his ears with his car keys… in church. His nickname is “Dick”. But the guy’s got some redeeming qualities. Hell, he raised me and only had to bail me out of jail once.

Just one of his many skills is his carpentry. The guy builds beautiful furniture from trees he mills himself. And he doesn’t buy a speck of the lumber: He uses only trees that have been uprooted by storms or inflicted with disease. And he’ll build me ANYTHING I need. The accompanying photos are the only ones I could find after a quick search of my iPhoto library, but believe me, there’s a lot more. I’ll share just one quick story and then I’ll quit with the bragging:

His father built a workbench for his shop when he got married. He made the top out of Maple or Oak, butcher block-style, but the rest of it was partly plywood, which was all he had at the time so it didn’t hold up too well over the years. Dad just piled oily autoparts on it in the back of the garage and always felt a little bad about it. So he decided to restore it. He replaced all of the drawer fronts and added new dividers, a carpenter’s vice and a shelf for my mechanics toolbox (which was also my Grandfather’s).

One day early last spring he and Mom drove to Philly to see their Grandkids and Dad brought the finished workbench with him. (It’s the one in the background below).

Here’s the kicker: He felt bad that there wasn’t room to mount my other vice and my grinder so one day while I was at work he decided to make me another workbench. He found an old piece of rough pine that Peco left in the empty lot next door and HAND PLANED IT and cut it to fit in the tight spot next to my stairs. It’s nothing fancy, but it was all finished by the time I got home from work. I don’t even remember if I thanked him.

He pulls this shit ALL THE TIME- and not just for me- for anyone. I could honestly call him right this minute (as long as it’s not hunting season) and read off dimensions for, let’s say, a new sandbox for the kids. With a lid. He’ll not only build one, it’ll probably be built out of cedar (won’t rot) with beveled edges and sippycup holders. And he’d ship it to me if I said I needed it right away.

That’s just the kind of guy he is. What do I to deserve this? Not a hell of a lot, really.
Happy Father’s Day Dad!
Oh, and jeez, I’ll probably forget to send a birthday card later this month, so while I’m at it, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOO! (Private note to sister Amy- Tell Dad to read this site since I’ll probably forgot to call on Father’s Day too!)

Here are a couple other projects- a new mantle for my fireplace and an old barn he restored by hand. This pic is the barn mid-completion.

Just to prove the apple doesn’t fall too horribly far from the tree, here’s a project of mine from a long time ago- window/storage boxes for the old house in South Philly.

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4 comments

  1. Props to your dad. What a great guy. Every father should be so lucky to have as story like this written about him. And a guy who knows how to work with his hands…fabulous. You’re a lucky guy, even if you call your place Back Luck City. 😉


  2. Oh… I forgot to mention some of the things dad made for me:

    1) Sculpture work bench… I had an old porcelean hoosier cabinet top that I wanted to use and he comes up with this most beautiful piece of furniture I own (seriously). I hate to sculpt on it. It is solid wood (maple, oak and cherry I think). All the drawers open smoothly because of the gliders The insets are all beveled. I told him what I wanted OVER THE PHONE and about how high and he comes up with this. He even wrote out an inscription about “inspiration” and “hard work” that is sealed on the inside of the top drawer so every time I open it I read this and his “I love you… Dad” signature.

    2) Dressing mirror

    3) Porch Swing (cedar – also the dimensions of my little porch were given to him OVER THE PHONE and of course it fit like a glove).

    4) Bird feeder (out of cedar of course)

    5) I’m sure there is more woodwork but what is coming to me now is the time he rigged my old LEMON of a car up with a “panic button” that was under the dash by the steering wheel that would trigger my windshield wipers because the damn car was such a lemon there was no repairing the switch that operated them… SO, he makes his own switch. PLUS how cool is it to have your own panic button? Cool I tell you

    6)Or the time he also invented some type of diaphram system for my much newer, fancy Saab, that had a problem with its wipers (fluid would only come out one side). Of course in all of Nashville (including the Saab dealership) there is no part to repair such a thing. So what does he do??? He goes in to some place like Walgreens and buys a bunch of stuff and basically makes his own.

    Those are just a top few.

    Love you so much Dad.

    Amy


  3. On that last pic – where’s your head?


  4. […] can’t believe my Dad turns 70 this week. I honored the old man two years ago for Father’s Day so I won’t get sappy this time -I’ll […]



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