Glessing 1 The Passing Down of Tools Inheriting tools allows my family to pass on generations of hard work, detail, and precision.
I am the recipient of the huge, black, Severson drill press given to me by my great grand father, who came over from Germany in 1902. I do not know if you have ever seen a Severson drill press, but the craftsmanship is something to be proud of. Everything is hand crafted, pulleys, gears, and even the key that tightens the chuck. My grandfather who inherited this drill press from his father just passed it down to me. I can remember endless hours watching my grandfather working with the press, drilling holes in decoy bodies or just doing odd jobs for the neighbors. He always told me the sang “keep your eye on the metal and not on the bit because its not the bit that your name Glessing 2 is on it’s the product that the bit makes.” This sang often times has run through my mind when I think of my grandfather but, never more so when he was in the hospital last year dieing of lung cancer.
I remember that Monday just like yesterday. I was sitting behind the drill press fixing a wheel bushing on the neighbors Toro lawn mower. It was a ugly, red, piece of junk, but all the time my grandfathers sang keep echoing in my head “its your name on that job”. I then hustled to finish boring the wheel to one half-inch diameter and began inserting the long brass sleeve into the wheel when the phone rang. I answered it was my grandmother, she sounded concerned, she quietly asked, “May I speak with your father.” This was a rather new development because it was never my grandmother who called asking for my father it was always my grandfather looking for a hunting buddy or someone to help him work on his old, rusted, pink, 1958 Cadillac. I soon felt chills running down my spine I immediately shut off the huge press as it ground to a halt I heard my dad say Glessing 3 “oh no!” I had no idea what was going on could this be a fatal heart attack, or maybe a simple engine problem in his Cadillac that my grandfather was too stubborn to convey to my father.
My grandfather has had many past health problems but the majority of them were heart related. I soon disregarded the conversation since sometimes my dad tended to flip out at very small minute things. I had to get this lawnmower done for the neighbor since his lawn resembled a green alpha field after a huge windstorm. I started up the old black press with a clank and a bang the huge wheel that drove the chuck had broken. The teeth spun off the gears like butter off of a hot ear of corn. I was terrified I thought how am I going to be able to fix this. Luckily just like in the story “Inheritance of Tools”, by Mr. Sanders, my father had taught me many skills: including welding, machining and cabinetry. Although my skills are much different than that of Mr. Sander’s stories they have the same basic concept, learning a skill from a father or grandfather.
Glessing 4 I then began to disassemble the huge nut that holds on the main pulley of the huge gear driven set up. Luckily, the pulley teeth were going to be salvageable with a little filling, as for the pulley, it needed extensive welding. I then turned around and sprinted for the large white three-story farmhouse that had been in the family for eighty years. I was very interested to see if my father was going to go fishing like he had planned earlier that day or if he was going to help my grandfather work on his car. He calmly said, “Your grandfather isn’t well.” I jokingly said “what another clogged artery”. Since the new joke in our family was which one of grandpa’s arteries is going to plug up next. My grandfather had a horrible eating problem. He ate eggs and bacon for breakfast fried chicken for lunch and usually meat loaf for dinner, my favorite.
My father laughed I think to lighten the mood for what he had in store to tell me. He said,” No” his voice stern but yet quite. I said, “then what is wrong with him.” My father repeated the most devastating word to me, he has lung cancer and the doctor Glessing 5 has given him two weeks to live. I can relate this feeling to that of the story “˜Inheritance of tools” Mr. Sanders was informed of his fathers death after he had used the very tools his father had handed down to him. I felt the same way, my grandfather was not dead, which I was very grateful, but he was next to dead.
The very powerful untouchable man I watched make decoys, fix neighbors projects and be the inspiration of a good sang was not going to be here anymore. That was what was the hardest for me as I think it was also for Mr. Sanders in “˜Inheritance of tools”. The fact that the man you looked up to the man that taught you everything was going to be gone. I had many things flash through my mind but after everything was over, and the horrible prognosis infiltrated my mind, I actually was very angry. “˜Why does god need to take my grandfather now” I shouted to whom ever could hear.
Sanders and I did what I feel was the best thing anyone can do; carry on the tradition and legacy of your loved one. Whether it is helping others, making goose decoys or in Sanders Glessing 6 case showing his son how to hammer a nail. I feel even repeating the old sang, often used by my grandfather when I was young, ” You can not appreciate some things until you are older’, helps carry on the tradition of the big black Severson drill press and all the knowledge that goes with it.
I shook off the news of my grandfather’s terminal diagnosis and I lumbered back out to the shed and began to weld. I pictured my grandfather there welding away on the same pulley as I was, since there were previous welds on the same faded black pulley. I then thought to myself of another old seemingly senseless sang my grandfather had told me about welding and life in general. He said “its not what you see on the outside of the pulley its what gets inside that counts. I have tried to understand that sang for many months now and it reminds me just like sander’s black and blue thumb reminded him of his father. I wish my grandfather was still alive today and I would ask him what that means, but since he is not I will try to answer it the best I can. I now think my grandfather was trying to instill in me, when Glessing 7 I was young was that of hard work, precision, and most of all to treat people as you would like to be treated. American Society is so judge mental of clothes and jewelry that we rarely see what is inside, we only see, as my grandfather said, “what can be ground off.” Glessing 8 Sanders, Scott. “
Our Lives Our Worlds a Thematic Reader.”Ed. Richard M. Shaw, et.al. Orlando: Harcourt, 2001. 5-12.