Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Full disclosure on the Big Pile of Stuff...

In my previous post, I mentioned the Big Pile of Stuff-I then realized I'm the only guy privy to what the Hell it is.

When my grandfather passed away a few years ago, he did not have much to leave us save for his tools, acquired over his eighty-some years on this rock. For whatever reason, they were kept at my grandmother's new house until she passed away this year. Since my brother should not hold tools for the same reason he should not hold a gun or drive a car (but does anyway), my cousin Matt, an engineer (the dirty-hands kind, best there is) and I divvied up the stuff.

Having worked estate auctions as a kid, it's interesting to view the progression of time as it pertains to a man's tools. You see the progression of tool technology, a man's need for things as his life progresses, and marketer's ideas of "good ideas" that never quite made it.

What do I mean? Well, Pap was a boilermaker-tough as nails. All his older stuff is rough-hewn, rusty, and some of it handmade. He had more time than money at first, so he would make the wrenches and jigs he needed as needed. As time goes on, you see he was able to afford better stuff, and The Pile reflects that. Even newer was the stuff like the Screwball, one of those ratcheting screwdrivers that you use by twisting the plastic sphere. I mention it because he had surgery on his right arm twenty years ago, and the tool was to help him keep at working despite a loss of supination strength in his wrist.

It's truly a timeline of a man's life to look at his tools...I think I'll post some of the finds, there's some pretty neat shit here.


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