I had in my hand today a hammer that has been in my toolbox for as long as I can remember having a toolbox.  And before my toolbox, it was in my father’s toolbox.  And, given the hammer’s appearance, I have little doubt that it also once resided in my grandfather’s toolbox as well.

For someone who struggled to pass Wood Shop in 7th grade, I strangely have an appreciation for good tools.  Over the years of home ownership, I have accumulated quite a few.  I didn’t realize until lately that my tools are like little time capsules.  Each has a story or more to tell. For many, I can trace back to their origins, often recalling the project I was working on that led to their purchase.

I’ve also accumulated a collection of drills, all different sizes.  Most are the newer battery-charged models which are handy to use without having to hassle with a cord.  Nevertheless, I regularly go back to my 1960’s vintage plug-in-the-wall Craftsman power drill when it comes to the tougher jobs that easily wear down the newer drills.  It turns faster and has a lot more torque, perfect for making holes in a dense piece of wood.  That reminds me of something I learned from my father.  He taught me that a good tool will always make the job easier and the results so much better.  Accordingly, I often splurge on tools abiding by the assumption that you usually get what you pay for.

One of my prized tools is actually a paint brush. Ironically, I don’t think a drop of paint has ever touched it.  It’s a very thick brush as you can see in the picture.  I believe the bristles are made of horsehair.  It’s very old too, perhaps one hundred years plus.  It’s mostly been used as a brush for cleaning who-knows-what.  My father used to cut my hair when I was a kid.  When he was finished, he would brush the hair off me with this brush.

I have only a few other old tools that have been handed down through the family.  Most of their value is sentimental.  I am sure my grandfather probably wouldn’t even remember his hammer or paint brush.  No, they had to survive a good number of years to rank the level of appreciation I give them.  Perhaps they will rattle around in the bottom of a toolbox belonging to someone in my immediate or nearby family…or perhaps not.  I sense the same for me!


About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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2 Responses to OLD TOOLS

  1. Marc Kuhn says:

    below is a comment that goes above and beyond…fact is, I almost worked PP&M’s song into my posting on old tools…but the extension of the song in your comment hammers the point much better..thank you!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Ever since I read this engaging story, I can’t get Peter, Paul, and Mary out of my head.
    If Mary were still with us, I could just hear them crooning:

    “If Marc had his hammer
    He’d hammer on the screened porch
    He’d hammer in the basement
    And out in the yard
    He’d hammer out rough spots
    He’d hammer out wrinkles
    He’d hammer out seams and gaps
    And things disconnected
    With his crusty hand

    “If he’d just use Dad’s brush
    He could brush on some pigment
    And brush in paint thinner
    With that same grizzled hand

    “Well, he’s got a hammer
    And he’s got that brush
    And he’s got Dad’s bits to drill
    Whenever he can

    “They’re the tools of of his childhood
    Screws, wrenches and awls
    They’ll split the five nails now
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand
    On his gnarly hand.


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