Yesterday, as we celebrated Father’s Day, I naturally thought of my dad who passed away over four years ago. As I stated in my profile, I grew up working with him in the shutter shop that he started in the early 60’s.
Probably the most valuable thing I learned from him was a strong work ethic. He was raised in a much different society than we have today. People were acutally expected to work for what they had. He bought out an existing business, and poured everthing he had into it. He was not the best craftsman in the world by the standards I see here on Lumberjocks, but sure did a good job at what he knew. I began working with him at a very early age, and would not trade that experience for anything. Looking back, the confidence he instilled in me was incredible. I guess he saw something in me that screamed WOODWORKER. Yet he never really pushed for that to happen, although he sure gave me a lot of opportunities. I don’t know if he really knew I would follow him in the shop, but I’m sure he hoped I would.
I’ll never forget the day I came to work after school my senior year in high school. I had worked part time for a guy refinishing furniture. He had got in financial trouble and sold out to my dad. Long story short, he skipped town with a lot of work on the books. Dad offered me the business, which I took. Keep in mind I was 17 years old. I really relate to the little birds when they get kicked out of the nest, and are expected to fly. Probably not the easiest way to learn, but boy did I learn!
Because of his influence, I thought pretty much anything was possible. Just try to tell me now something can’t be done. Though I have experienced more failures than I care to admit, I think I have always learned from them.
I realize not everyone had a great relationship with their father, but try to see the good where you can. My dad was not perfect, but I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. Sometimes working with him absolutely drove me up the wall, but I do miss him.
I know this is a woodworking site, but to me this is the essence of my woodworking. So much of who I am in my ability is who he was and what I learned from him, and several other guys like him in my life. I am interested in who influenced you in your woodworking journey. If not for those experiences, none of us would have all these cool projects to share.
So I guess in my rambling, this is my tribute to My Dad.