Still, I don't hold a candle to the old-timers of yore...
We're now in the process of helping my now widowed mother-in-law clean out her house in anticipation of moving from a sprawling country house on a large lot overlooking Lake Pepin along the Mississippi River in southern Minnesota, into a smaller, manageable home in town. My main contribution to this endeavor is do the outdoor repairs, and to clean out and stage the items from the garage and shed for the upcoming garage sale—the stuff owned and stored by my father-in-law, who passed away this winter at age 90-and-ten-months.
|Boomer's table saw, patent-pending.|
Boomer was clearly a fairly obsessive/compulsive fellow, judging from the sheer amount of stuff he squirreled away. While he did not qualify as a hoarder, he was still able to store an enormous amount of strange paraphernalia into a simple two-car garage. Mind you, this was a garage in which he still parked two large Buicks. We now know that when he said he was going out to "clean out the garage," what he was really doing was rearranging things so that more stuff could be stored out there.
|Industrial pressure tank plus |
compressor plus flexible copper tubing
equals perfect home air compressor
WTF? we all thought. And then one day we drove down to visit one weekend to find that Boomer had built a flight of stairs 60 steps long down from the high bank of his yard all the way down to the lake shore at the base of the bluff. Each step was cut from that rigid extruded metal that he had cut into precise tread size, and the railings were fitted pieces of that galvanized piping.
Rather than throw away an old refrigerator, he put it out in the shed, where he used it as an airtight storage cabinet for paints and solvents.
|Bench grinder featuring washing|
He was like that, and most of things I've now pulled out the rafters and off the shelves is stuff I can visualize a projected use that lived in his mind. Fifty-five empty coffee cans with lids.....120 empty burlap potato sacks...a huge roll of very heavy reflective mylar fabric....a partial leftover roll of old linoleum from a kitchen installation 30 years ago.
This portable rolling tool cart uses the
back end off a child's tricycle for the
rolling end. Opposite end uses wooden
handles off an on old wheel-barrow.
The garage and home has held fully 22 coffee makers, ranging from monstrous 60-pot "event" pots to little Mr. Coffee pots. And fully 12 of these no longer work. But Leonard was a tinkerer, and surely imagined that he would play with the wiring and fix them some day. There is a strange home-made table saw cobbled together with spare parts and an electric motor and welded together by hand. The thing weighs about 200 pounds, but is still entirely functional. A huge bench grinder that built in the same way.
Seriously....I am not worthy.