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An Old Man’s Tribute to His Old-man.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 04-20-2017 03:29 AM 1433 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For all you who may have read some of my articles, know I rabbit on and this may be no different other than I do sincerely believe it is a touching tribute to a talented man and a little more worthy read than the others.

In 1949, I was born the son of a Hungarian fern cutter. We were poor, as there were no ferns in Hungary and the unemployment dole system was yet to be invented.

We escaped Hungary in 1956 when my old man was accused of pointing a loaded weapon at several country invading personnel and maybe taking the liberty of uncontrollably manipulating it’s trigger in a somewhat unorthodox fashion. Mum and I followed the fugitive across the border, and once I shed the tag of Dr. Dickie Kimble’s son, we eventually migrated to Australia, did the rounds of immigrations camps and finally settled in a country town in Victoria.

To eke out some additional income, the old-man used to make these “picture holders” that he sold for far too many shekels less than they should have been worth. The gallery pictures was his bread and butter (no pun intended) design, however, he also made a lot of heart shaped picture holder for all those tragics waiting for Valentine’s Day to be immortalised to the all us male’s regret.

I remember mum and I sitting over about 20-30 loaves of white bread, removing the crust and chewing the bread to a doughy consistency and spitting it out for the replacement of another slice of “raw” bread. Now back then blood alcohol meters were just a mere 40 years from invention, however, the old-man could detect incorrect spittle and bread consistency down to 5 microns and threatened us with incarceration if we didn’t rectify our masticating practices.

Anyway, the old-man took this doughy regurgitation and mixed it with some powdered colouring and rolled it out into various shapes. He also made a leaf template out of wood that he used to squeeze some green dough onto and cut around the edges to make and shape the leaves.

He then flattened a heap of pea sized red dough and formed them into the shape of a rose.

He then continued to roll out the “dough” shape and eventually let air dry for several weeks. I believe he may have applied some lacquer but being so young back then, I went to bed early so I didn’t see all he did (mum said… thankfully.. wink, wink).

I vaguely remember raiding our local farm barns for the straw he used to accentuate some of his patterns (and for our backyard chooks… hey we’re talking 1958-9… eggs still came out of chook bums and not neat packets). The old-mad got rid of all of his creations, except for this one in topic which was the first he made at that residence.

Somehow it followed me through drunken teenage parties, university, mid 1960’s Vietnam demonstrations (hey they offered free beer to all participants), many early job dismissals and my coming of age (not necessarily in that order). Just kidding… it was initially domiciled in my first marital residence in 1975. After that, it has followed me around since, taking a back seat somewhere in one of my display cabinets, closets and/or shelves.

Anyway, recently my missus asked me to reign in my dust-collectors and I came across this sad piece covered in glad wrap.

I removed the glad wrap

only to find this item covered in near 60 years of dust and bulging at the seams much like my midriff.

I had a closer look and admired the family with their deft use of blue-tac in attempts to prevent total deterioration and holding some of the flaking pieces together. However, this makeshift repair was only to the picture frame so I must admit the rest have stood the march of time… not too shabby for a couple of loaves of bread after 60+ years.

Oh yeah, that gorgeous gosling is a picture of this Ducky taken far too many years than I care (or can) remember.

You can detect the hair-pin if you look close… mothers never thought of the future back then… This world can be cruel.

For anyone interested, the timber used was “migrant camp reject” circa 1958. The old-man raided the camp’s rubbish tip for resources and carried it with him.

I have been spurred on to get off my rrrs and make a display cabinet for it. I really hope I can do it justice and post my results in a not too distant future.

Thanks for listening with your eyes.

PS. Everything was hand…. and TEETH made.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD





15 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

14610 posts in 2369 days


#1 posted 04-20-2017 03:38 AM

GREAT story, thank you for sharing!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View bruce317's profile

bruce317

392 posts in 574 days


#2 posted 04-20-2017 04:38 AM

It is a great story, I also thank you for sharing. Made me think of my deceased wife. She made bread flowers. also.

-- Bruce - Indiana - Sawdust is just, MAN GLITTER!

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 571 days


#3 posted 04-20-2017 04:53 AM


It is a great story, I also thank you for sharing. Made me think of my deceased wife. She made bread flowers. also.

- bruce317


Hi b’317, Past memories are at times a challenge, especially for us that are graced with them (I’m trying to choose MY words carefully without offence). I didn’t realise it may have been a common practice (the bread mastication). It’s just that in my short 68 years I’ve never been confronted by other ”chewers” (or other recruited chompers).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Marcial's profile

Marcial

131 posts in 296 days


#4 posted 04-20-2017 05:01 AM

I think often of I and Thou which asks us to think about the difference in an object that is either used or experienced and an entity where a relationship is formed such that it is in a way a part of you. Divorced from the story, it’s just a frame and holder. Thanks to your story, it’s so much more. Your dad is in that frame and so are you.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 571 days


#5 posted 04-20-2017 05:20 AM

Thx Marcial, For taking the time to read. Unfortunately my dad and I never saw eye to eye (except when he blackened mine with a backward fist).

Nevertheless, with my seniority, he was old school and while I could never accept his actions, this article was a tribute to his talent and not to his character and that is why I have transgressed to such a belated monumentation.

Let us praise the past skill of our aged descendants.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

2434 posts in 1919 days


#6 posted 04-20-2017 06:13 AM

Great. I can’t understand all you have written but the core is clear. I also have read the comments. The story tells me a little more about who you are. Thanks for sharring buddy.

View crowie's profile

crowie

1927 posts in 1701 days


#7 posted 04-20-2017 09:33 AM

Ducky, I’ve just returned home from visiting my wife’s cousin in Parkes.
He’s a brilliant story teller with lots of embellishment in his wapper stories of bush rangers, local history and family tree history, BUT sir, with respect,
you two would get on like a house on fire with the stories of days gone by….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Albert's profile

Albert

484 posts in 3340 days


#8 posted 04-20-2017 01:30 PM

Dear Mr. Duck,
Thank you for this touching post. I expect that you’ve captured the essence of your relationship with your father in a way that few of us are able. I was humored and humbled as the missive reminded me of my own parents with whom I had a much gentler kind of relationship.

Albert

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7696 posts in 1757 days


#9 posted 04-20-2017 08:07 PM

Great story! And dont worry about the hairpin… It’s not noticeable in the picture. Look at it this way. It could have been MUCH worse! You mother could have dressed you like Little Lord Fauntleroy, and you would have gotten beat up about once a week at school! :)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 571 days


#10 posted 04-22-2017 12:42 AM


... with the stories of days gone by….

- crowie

Crowie, there are so many great articles here at LumberJocks that it is the yarn that makes the pull-over more comfortable.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Pjonesy's profile

Pjonesy

195 posts in 576 days


#11 posted 04-24-2017 04:37 AM

Great story LBD my wife’s parents were in a migrant when they first went to Australia in 1951 and they ended up not far from you in Traralgon for a while.

-- Peter New Zealand

View crowie's profile

crowie

1927 posts in 1701 days


#12 posted 04-24-2017 04:57 AM

Just relooking at some of the detail in your father’s frame, top artisan…

And yes the story is a fun part of the deal, thank you…

Also Ducky, I think I counted 6 empty decanters in one photo, I hope they didn’t all be drained in one sitting??

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 571 days


#13 posted 04-24-2017 06:29 AM


... I counted 6 empty decanters in one photo, I hope they didn t all be drained in one sitting??

- crowie


Lucky you didn’t see the empty ones on the other 5 shelves. Actually one is a vase (would save time and effort on the “de-capping”). In reality, they never managed to be introduced to alcohol… someone once told me there was far too much evaporation during decanting.

Anyway it’s the missus way to get back at all my timber (and bread) dust collectors.

Yes I will admit the man was talent… unfortunately he only managed to pass on his good looks me and not his skills.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

277 posts in 808 days


#14 posted 04-30-2017 12:05 AM

Fascinating piece and story! Thanks for sharing… It is amazing to hear of the ways our ancestors devised to keep their bellies full and their families alive!

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1118 posts in 571 days


#15 posted 04-30-2017 12:41 AM



... our ancestors devised to keep their bellies full…

- mikeacg


Thanks mikeac. I often think back and wonder where and how he learned that skill.

I chuckle at the irony of chewing and spitting out the bread when you are hungry (as opposed to Hungary)!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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