Timely Recollection 2

Timely Recollection

Timely Recollection 2

Timely RecollectionMy paternal grandfather has a dualistic influence in my life, even to this day. The first is obvious, the fishing gene. Whether genetic, or merely learned behavior, or, as I long suspected, a by-product of environment and location, sure, my fishing lineage is clear.

But when he retired from the law, and my only, meager memories, he was also a craftsman. He had a small workshop tucked into a corner of the garage where he lived, and that workshop was an amazing space for a five-year old. Or seven, again, memories are porous at best.

Timely Recollection 2

There was a scarred workbench, and then, cleverly designed if randomly assembled, storage cupboards, all filled with any manner of nuts, bolts, screws, nails, angles, and all the other construction materials used by a hobbyist woodworker. He started building stuff in his retirement. The super-organized, well-lit, thoroughly used workspace was a wondrous place for a child’s imagination to wander.

The time we did build something together, would’ve been first grade or earlier, the parts, what we started with, a wood block and a set of wheels, as it was going to be a gravity racer.

Gravity racers are launched along a pair of race lanes that are angled, and the finish line is maybe twice the distance. Since the raw materials were all the same, and parents weren’t supposed to get too into it? I used my grandfather’s workshop. Or he did the work at my behest.

I wanted the car to be streamlined, and we did it at angles, carefully painted, smooth, sleek racer car. Then, as an addendum, there was a weight limit, and after shaving off some of the wood? My grandfather melted some old, lead fishing weights into a cavity in the bottom of the car we built.

When my car won, after a number of eliminations, bracketed racing, against one that had lights, whistles, and fancy paint job? Someone must of protested because the car was weighed, and mine was just under the limit, but obviously, the lead weights helped. Legal. Remember, he was a lawyer, first. I recall seeing the car up on a scale, twice, once in the shop, and then again, after the races.

In my mind, then, I thought my car did better because it was sleek, stripped, and had a solid color paint job. Don’t think the drama with a weigh-in bothered me much. I got the first place prize.

That portion of a timely recollection builds upon what this is about and what I’ve carried forward.

Timely Recollection 2

The recollection comes at an expense, but the take-away, and I was — given this last year, 18 months now? That take-away, the essence of the timely recollection is about organization. That wood shop, tucked into a space maybe not any larger than some walk-in closets? Order. Tools, in place, and parts, various accessories, everything in its proper place. That sense of order.

A craftsman’s pride in good works.

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