Several months ago Catherine and I went through some of the stuff Dad, the Renovation Whisperer, has had stashed away in an old warehouse his grandfather built years ago for his construction company. So many odds and ends I remember seeing in it are now long gone, but Dad still has a few original items stored away in sheds that used to be next to the gigantic old warehouse.
We salvaged this power drill, powerful for its time; similar to an egg beater only instead of beaters on the end the craftsman would put a drill bit.
And this planer and pulley came from the warehouse too. It’s interesting to speculate what pieces of wood this planer ever smoothed.
Our father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather were all in the construction business. Some of the tools we found date back to the Great Depression when our great-grandfather worked on state improvement projects putting men to work building high schools, fences, and the like. This wood pulley was at one time rigged with thick ropes to hoist brick and other materials up into the heights of buildings.
Not all these tools were our great-grandfather’s. Some of them were bought by our grandfather. He took over his father’s business, just as our father took it over after him.
With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder whose hands used these tools? What man, hands worn and calloused from physical labor, grasped these tools to shape wood, or brick or stone? Undoubtedly they were men’s hands because these tools are from an age when women didn’t use such things. We sisters are probably the first generation, in this family, to break that tradition. We’ve been blessed with a heritage of builders, and now we carry on the tradition in our non-traditional way.
I don’t know what some of the salvaged items are, but they were old and worn and looked like history. Dad knows the tools though; I’ll have to make a point of asking him some time about each item. (Don’t mind Miss Xyla dog in the background. She has a way of sneaking into photos. Secretly she is quite the diva.)
And finally, there’s some “old junk” we found that is just plain fun. These oil cans make me think of the tin man in the Wizard of Oz. They still have grimy, oily dirt in their grooves and joints, but polishing them up would make them lose some of their charm.
The Renovation Whisperer is now preparing to demolish the last of the storage bays from the old warehouse where these few remaining treasures have lived. Anything left inside needs to find a new home or it goes to the dump. Most of the stuff we’ve already claimed made the Renovation Whisperer just shake his head and look at us like we were crazy. I think the distance in time and experience lets us see the real beauty each old item possesses.
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