Grandfather’s Clamps

Dear Diary, I moved here when I was sixteen. My father packed us up to move to Nova Scotia, where my eldest sister lived. When we moved here he took over her barn as a wood shop, and my mother looked after my niece and nephew Aaron. We all remember Papa Bill in the barn, littered with wood curls and sawdust, smoking cigarettes. It was his place. He made things and sold them. He fixed things. He was happy in there. He loved his tools.

Yesterday when I went to see Aaron, he said he had done some refinishing on his landlord’s front door. He said, “I used Papa Bill’s clamps.”. I loved it that as he builds his boat, fixes stuff, he is using my father’s tools. My father would love that. He spent a lot of time with Aaron.

So there he was yesterday, showing me these clamps.

After the hockey game, I said, “What do you think you’ll do tonight?” . He said, “Oh, I’ll tinker around the barn.”

The boat will launch in the spring. He plans to have one mast and a sail he’ll have made in Lunenburg. It will be painted marroon, with the veins of it varnished in a nice dark varnish. So beautiful.

Create beauty everyday in your own way.





4 thoughts on “Grandfather’s Clamps

  1. WOW! My dad was also into wool and was a carver and also made furniture. He just died a year ago and I am having trouble putting all of his tools and stuff away. Mt husband is being a doll and giving me all the time I need. But this article that you posted makes me feel good about his stuff and that soem day my boys may be using it. My husband is already using some of his normal tools but he says he has no interest in carving. Your article made me feel good.


  2. I love this story! Reminds me of how my son inherited all of my dad’s old fishing lures! My dad loved all the fancy fishing paraphernalia–more than he like to really fish I think. In fact, I think he loved the idea of fishing more than the actual fishing, because he could just not tolerate the intense heat we have in summers. When we were going through his stuff after he passed, I came across an old calendar page where as a boy he had scrawled “I’ve gone fishing, mother. I won’t be late. Don’t worry about me”. More than anything, it tore my heart strings. So I suppose he did more fishing then, as my grown boy does now–heading to the creek or lake every chance he gets now–telling me not to worry.
    My sister inherited his pool cue–now that is where Dad really excelled. A fatherless boy, he began working in the local pool hall when he was 16 years old–after school. My grandmother had trouble keeping him in school (he wanted to play hookey so he could play pool with his cousins)–but she persevered by paying a teacher friend to carry him to the country school miles away, after they had moved to town. Too far out to play hookey! My grandmother was wise like that! Later my dad would actually play against Minnesota Fats and Fast Eddie (remember the movie The Hustler). When my dad died 21 years ago, she had calls offering over $1000. dollars for my dad’s pool cue! It was priceless to us! After he was gone, my mom kept it propped up against the wall, just where he always left it. My sister now treasures it. Anyway— I just love that your nephew is now using his grandfather’s tools–one generation following another and he knows where he inherited it!


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