THE BLOG
10/22/2014 09:54 am ET Updated Dec 22, 2014

Get The Hammer Out of Daddy's Hands

My father did so many things well...but I have to confess that it was downright terrifying to see him enter Moody's True Value Hardware Store in Montgomery, AL with a project on his mind.

Now your basic things were no big deal....fertilizer for the grass, a can of paint, maybe even something as difficult as replacing a washer in the occasional leaky faucet...a new hose with a spray nozzle that had every selection (spray, fan, flat, trickle, etc) EXCEPT plain old water. He loved the one you set on JET that blew plants right out of the ground.

Scary was anything involving wood...this meant some sort of shelving. Out in the tool room this wasn't such a big deal....it just meant the paint cans slowly slid to one end of the shelf over a year's period or the other. In the pantry, you needed to make sure cans of food were totally flat on the bottom or they would roll right out onto your toes....the 14.5 ounce cans of tomatoes hurt the most.

I am talking carpentry here.

When we first moved to Montgomery, Daddy decided to build a wonderful deep set of shelves with a nice overhang to hold all of our schoolbooks and such....it was in the room that brother Laird and I shared at the time. The overhang had a fluorescent light attached brighter than the rising sun....no kidding, it would burn the print right off of the pages. Then there was the spindly desk underneath. It was the shelves, solidly constructed of 2 X 4's, nice thick plywood, this was truly his crowning achievement and he enjoyed showing off his handiwork to his buddies. II am sure it weighed over 1,000 pounds and was there to stay, hear me, there to stay!

And so it stayed until a fateful Sunday lunch....we heard some strange creakings, weird groanings.....since we were all at the table, Mom couldn't shouldn't out someone's name to stop what they were doing. It got worse, and the ensuing giant roar had all of is crowding down the hall to see Daddy's masterpiece all over the bedroom. He had missed that critical part of attaching the main parts to the studs in the wall....so it just ripped that sheetrock off the wall. Dust was just everywhere, and the pitiful desk was flattened underneath this magnificent piece of carpentry. Daddy was in tears.

Don't get me started on the shelves he built for the library....they still lean north, south, east, and west, but apparently ARE well-anchored in the studs. The bindings on the books are goners, though.

I can't imagine the mayhem in our lives if those mega-hardware stores like Lowe's and Home Depot had been around. He could have just gotten into all sorts of trouble. Heaven help us.

Get the hammer out of his hands.