Old Treasure

Since being back in school (all the while dreaming of Crock stuff), I have been soaking up information. (I should be doing homework right now, but I have a fresh coffee going and I feel like doing this instead, so FTW!) Umm, of course I have been soaking up information – that’s what school is about. But I’m reaching the point now where my head feels swollen. Literally. Being a tradesperson means working with tools, and specific tools are required for certain tasks. It turns out I had a few of the necessary tools required, plus managed to locate a few more. Not only are hand-me-down tools free, they hold sentimental value (in some cases).

Three specific tools that I have recently acquired come to mind. The first thing I needed for one of my school projects was a chalk line. I remember my dad having one in his tool box many years ago. After he died, my brother and I ended up with the tools. I called Kris up and asked if he had the chalk line in the ol’ red toolbox. He found the chalk line and brought it to me so I could use it for my project the very next day! I cleaned it up a bit before putting it in my backpack to take with me to school. I used it as a chalk line and plumb bob, so it was like a two-for-one deal! Now it lives in my toolbox.

Below: The chalk line. I’m sure I can remember this vintage piece from the 80s. Check out that hand. That’s mine. The delicate hand of a graphic designer. Little do my hands know the abuse they will encounter in the very near future.

My dad's old chalk line

As a few days passed, I learned some more information about preferred tools and suddenly recalled the old pipe wrench that I “borrowed” from Monica’s dad about 8 years ago. It happened to be one of the recommended (brand name and size) tools for pipe fitting, so I took it apart, cleaned it up, and put it in my toolbox. I used it just the other day, actually. The only downside is it’s heavy as hell, but that’s okay. It’s staying in my toolbox.

Below: This is the meat ‘n’ potatoes. Nothing puts a set of balls on a guy like a heavy-duty pipe wrench.

Father-in-law's pipe wrench

The third and most recent tool is a tube cutter that I just found in my step-dad’s toolbox. After my dad died (fucking stupid cancer), mom remarried and enjoyed 10 years with Art. (Unfortunately, Art was another victim of cancer, having passed on 3 years ago.) Anyway, I took the tube cutter home, disassembled it, and cleaned it up. I then took it to school and gave it a few shots of oil to quench its thirst. It’s now in my toolbox.

Below: The tube cutter. This thing was evidently well-used. A shot of oil and a test run immediately following proved it’s still good to go.

Step-dad's tube cutter

For me, those old tools aren’t just old tools that I scooped for free because I’m a parasitic little prick looking for a handout. They mean more than that to me. They may be old, chipped, flaking, and a bit out of style, but they still function as they should. They still have life left in them. More importantly, those old tools are pieces of history and serve as reminders of the three fathers in my life. (Monica’s dad is still here, so we’ll have to keep that wrench hush-hush.) When I open my toolbox, those three guys are helping me.

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