My dad gave me a toolbox when I was in high school. I think it had four things in it: a hammer, a handsaw, a set of screwdrivers and a photo of his dad (to show me that being handy was in my blood). But not even my ancestry could interest me in tools as a teenager.
Yet I dragged that toolbox along to college, then to New York City and even back here to Richmond. With each move my need for (and skill with) those tools grew. And I added plenty to my collection along the way – levels, drills, wrenches, etc – eventually outgrowing the toolbox itself. But to this day we still use that original handsaw and screwdriver set around our house. (I think that hammer is floating around Manhattan somewhere. Sorry Dad.)
I wanted to use this pre-Father’s Day post to say “thank you” to my dad, Sherry’s dad and all the other fathers in our combined lineage that turned us into the handy couple that we are today. So to honor our dads, we thought we’d post embarrassing old photos of them. (Note my dad’s tie. It was a Father’s Day gift I made using puffy paint… proof that paint doesn’t always make something better.)
But enough about our dads. We want to hear about yours. Got any good stories about your dad passing down some fatherly advice or handyman skills to you? Or great ideas for honoring your dad on Father’s Day? I’ve got a special gift up my sleeve this year, but I can’t spill the beans ’til he unwraps it. Sorry!
Great post! I, too, thank my dad for his (and my) handiness. I remember dreading the times growing up that he would say, “Jennifer, come out to the garage and watch me do this. You might learn something.” I would groan and give my mom a sideways glance urging her to ‘save’ me, but she would just nod toward the door. I guess they both knew that all those lessons would someday serve me well!
I blame, um, I mean thank my dad for my constant urge to take things apart and see how they’re made. He also bought me my first wood working kit. So thank you Dad!
MaryB in Richmond says
Sadly, my dad taught me nothing about this sort of thing because … I’m a girl. He figured (and I figured, and my mom figured), Why would I need to know how to use a power drill?
Well, now I’m a divorced homeowner and trying to figure out how to use a power drill. The moral of today’s lesson: Dads! Teach your daughters!!
(I’m not unhappy, though — he was the best dad in the whole world, and taught me everything ELSE I needed to make it on my own, including that if I work at it I can figure out how to do anything … including how to work a power drill.)
The best gift I ever gave my dad was a “gift certificate” for a six hour rental of a Mazda Miata the year they first came out. He said planning on how to use the gift was almost as much fun as using it! He took it out the week the trees turned in October, drove west to the mountains from here in Richmond, and back. All by himself, radio blasting, hair blowing; he just LOVED IT.
I miss him. Maybe I’ll go rent a Miata on Sunday and take a drive in his memory!
Very smart gift idea, Mary! My dad would love that too. (One thing I didn’t inherit from him is his love of cars). Although, when I lived in Charlottesville I did love driving through the mountains at night with my windows down and music blaring. So that much I can relate to!
Lovely post! As far as my dad, he was not handy around the house to say the least. In fact, my mom forbid him to attempt handy work for a long time! That was after a trip to the emergency room involving a rusty nail … But one thing that he did teach me was the art of porch sitting at night. I have so many happy memories as a kid of coming home at night after a vigorous game of hide and seek with the kids in the neighborhood with my brother, and then the two of us sitting with my dad on the porch steps. We’d look up at the stars and my dad would say with wonder “what a big world this is!” He couldn’t build the porch, but he knew how to use it! :0)
I realise this is a super late reply (I found your blog last month and I’m working my way up from the very start)
When I was growing up we lived in Airforce houses so we didn’t have a lot of DIY opportunities, but because we were out in the country in a time before cell phones, before he would let me buy my first car, my Dad made sure I could do the following: Change a tire unassisted, change the oil in my car and check the oil level, create a makeshift fan belt out of a pair of pantyhose, and replace a broken headlight or indicator. He also used to perform ‘spot checks’ on my car to make sure I was always carrying a small fire extinguisher, first aid kit, spare water and oil, and that my spare tyre was in good condition.
As a 16 year old girl I hated it at the time, but I’m eternally grateful now.
Funny enough it was always my mom who was the handyman it our house. I don’t think I ever remember my dad fix things, but definitely remember my mom stripping paint, building a deck, building a patio and so on. Although she did learn from her dad, but unfortunately I didn’t pick up near enough from her growing up.