Friday, November 17, 2006


My grandpa died yesterday and I wanted to share a few memories. I have just started putting things back up on the walls (post-construction) so today got out and dusted off the clock he made from an old violin. It has a swinging pendulum that adds life to any room and is now ticking away in the office. It goes well with the cello lamp he made that is in the living room and the saw-blade clock that has graced every home we have lived in. I think that next I will go and tune the 1923 Gibson he sold to Greg (for an extremely reasonable price), the banjo guitar, and the mandola. The mandola he made for me from a tenor guitar so I could play with the same fingering as my viola. In this way, his vibrations and love of music live on.

Unlike most of my family, my Grandpa liked garage sales and old stuff. He liked to take something free and junky and fix it up like new. He liked to recycle, re-purpose, and reuse, way before it was trendy. I love these things too and see the same interest in Rees, the other collector and bargain hunter in my immediate family. I think Rees’s fascination for odds and ends is innate; I did not teach him to enjoy garage sales and garbage picking. And now I see that grandpa was the likely source of these interests.

I will think of grandpa every time I go down to my new basement studio. I loved his basement workroom and the feeling of creativity it harbored. It was his retreat. It was organized, but cluttered, and filled with innumerable fascinating things. I realized yesterday that, deep down, I’ve always wanted to have a room just like his. Now I do! He is the inspiration for that.

There were lots of other sides to him as well (he remembered everyone’s names and loved to tell stories, for example), but it was on this practical level that we connected most. He had a great sense of function and design and understood how things worked. He was careful and thorough and his patient work ethic will always be with me. It is something you don't see so much anymore and I am grateful I had a chance to experience it through his example.

He was not the sentimental type, so I will keep this short. But it is always nice to reflect how people have influenced you and how they will live on even after their old, tired bodies are gone.


diana said...

Jen - I like to sit in dad's workroom.
While the house as a whole has mom's edge to it the workroom was dad's oasis. A happpy contented space. I always feel that all is right with the world when there. I hope that your new workroom has the same feel. Hope to see your new space sometime this year.

Jennifer K. said...

May these beautiful memories live on for a long, long time and may you find peace and joy in remembering all the ways you've been touched by someone so dear.

Dais said...

Hugs, Jenny.