It’s 90-plus degrees in Charlotte, and the humidity is brutal, so I’m glad to have done all the yard work yesterday. At post-church donuts and juice today, I smiled while telling a couple youngsters that my Dad always said, “There’s no reason for me to worry how hot it is when I have four boys to cut the lawn.” He said the same thing about shoveling snow from the sidewalk and 150 ft. of driveway, but that’s a truth I didn’t bother to impart.
Being the only brother Dad’s size, I’ve made it a habit to wear something of his on a daily basis the last four years. I like his hounds tooth jacket, sometimes it’s a pair of well-stretched socks, often it’s one of many primarily green tee shirts. Mom didn’t think Dad looked good in green, so while he didn’t have green dress shirts, he loaded up on the tees.
His sneakers fit in my rat traps for cycling, and everyone has a pair of beaters to do the lawn with, so they got used at both work and play. Three weeks ago the toes came un-stitched while doing garden maintenance for the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa’s group), and I brought a fistful of dirt into the house, so post-lawn cutting, Fathers Day became a good time to retire them, and some Adidas have stepped into the work role.
There will probably be ten million memories shared about fathers today. I was fortunate to have Waldo Francis Shorkey in my life until just after my 56th birthday, and I was grateful when Mom gave me his ring, and my brother Mike found the band on his watch too small for his wrist.
The pen, ahhh! that was truly special. Once he was unable to handle bigger pieces of wood to make secretaries and such (a blue ribbon in the Florida State Fair) we gave him a drill press to make smaller projects, and on vacation in Tampa, I asked him to make one with me. It took me three hours over two days to create the curved, slightly fatter grip I desired, sand it with five progressively finer grains, then polish and wax it.
At the end, Dad stated, “Glenn, you’re the worst I ever worked with! Ryan (my youngest nephew) would have done two pens in that time.” My answer: “I’ve never done anything like this before Dad, and all I wanted was to work on something with you and have a great souvenir of the event. I got what I wanted.”
As proud of that pen as I was, I must have lost it by letting a customer sign with it when I was working at Belk. Yes, dammit! for stupidity, but the memory of making will never fade either.