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What that means is that I’ve written the final check to the final craftsman. If it were up to me to go beyond painting or wallpapering, not much would change around the house.
I’m the disappointing product of a father who could do just about any crafty thing ever thought of and then, after he died, a stepfather who was a tool-and-die maker who literally invented his own tools when he couldn’t find the right one for a chore. The latter counseled me early on that I needed to get a good job so I could pay people like him to do things I couldn’t do. Probably the only worthwhile thing he ever passed along to me, but at least it was a goodie.
Over the years I got pretty good at refinishing antiques and doing the aforementioned painting and wallpapering. But, any time I ventured beyond that trouble reared its ugly head.
Take the time I attempted to replace a faulty piece of pipe under the sink in a second-floor bathroom. I thought I had done a great job, but just as I finished my wife came home and asked me why water was leaking through the kitchen ceiling and into the hanging plants. Thinking swiftly, I exclaimed, “You spoiled the surprise. I was just putting in the automatic watering system.”
Or the time I tried to replace the dining room light switch with a dimmer dial. Worked great, except that any time I dialed the dimmer up or down the exhaust fan over the stove sped up or slowed down.
The only explanation I can come up with is that, as with so many things, greatness skips a generation. My son can paint and wallpaper, but he also is pretty good at welding, electrical work, woodworking, general construction and just about any other task he takes on. I like to think I just coddled the handyman gene so it would be in extra good shape when I passed it on to him.