Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Alan the Carpenter Part One

Some people in our family are very skilled and handy. They can build anything. Like Al B., Judy P. (dolls), Mom (cakes) and (great)Grandpa W.

When I was young and we lived on Ravinia Drive in Tinley Park, Grandpa W. would come out from Chicago and stay at our house for a few weeks during his vacation. I still remember him making a small tin box one time in our back yard. He had all of his tools with him including some kind of little stove he used to heat up his old fashioned soldering iron. After he worked on it for a while, it looked fine and finished to me. Not him, he worked on it for another hour until it was perfect.

Then there are the rest of us. Like my dad. When I was very young my dad was building a bookcase in my sisters bedroom. At one point he decided to take a break and sit down to rest, directly on a bag of #8 nails. Seared into my memory is my father bent over in the bathroom with my mom applying bright orange mercurochrome (an old time disinfectant) on each little puncture wound. It looked like a hairy dot-to-dot drawing from Highlights Magazine.

I recently rebuilt my backyard deck. The wood was getting so rotten that I feared one of my tenants might fall through and sue me. I looked at the project and decided, "piece of cake". I was wrong. It took me three hours of hard labor to demolish three feet of the old deck. So I hired one of Marks friends, Willie, to help me and we finished demolishing the old deck in one day. I received one laceration, one rusty nail puncture, and my legs now look like a relief map of the Ozarks.

Yes Mark did help me............He brought me a beverage.


  1. Good memory!!! "Nails in Big Al's ass" is also one of my favorite childhood memories, along with falling off the roof (while raising it to make a dormer), and the "never-finished upstairs bathroom". And did you also color the air with verbal expletives as you worked???

  2. PEGGY,
    I notice when I work outside my next-door neighbor keeps his children inside. It's hard to believe I curse more than him.

  3. You could have saved all of the expense of rebuilding the deck and just put down sod.

    ...or how about being creative and filling the area with beach sand and have umbrellas stuck in it.

    Come on ...decks are so 1970's. hehe

  4. Why did you paint that picture of your dad's backside? I think that was way too much information.

  5. Who is Anonymous?? The pictures are sometimes just a representation of what really happened.

  6. I didn't mean "pictorially" paint a picture of your dads butt. One can "paint" a picture with words. That is what I meant. As for my identity.....clang, clang, clang went the bottle. Need I say more. hehe