Now, I have a hammer…

By kateandcarla

January 12, 2011

Category: Uncategorized


Photo: mattbatt0, Flickr Creative Commons

As my parents were paring down and packing up for their move from Promise City, I spent a week with them and my sister Marilyn in their home.  It wasn’t the edge-of-town two-story I grew up in, but the ultra-efficient ranch-style residence Mom and Dad had built with their own hands at retirement. The effort was expedited by a steady stream of supplies from the one-and-only Lockridge’s on Highway 2.  My friend Jill, a Lockridge ( co-owner, will confirm that every purchase Dad made was minimalistic and expertly calculated.

From the poster-board “blueprints” we found in the hall closet, more than two decades after they were drawn and erased and redrawn, to the perfectly matched grain of the kitchen cabinets, this house was my Dad’s dream.

One of the hammers used during its construction found its way into the toolbox he assembled for me that goodbye week in August 2005. We stood in his dimly lit workshop, the scent of tractor grease and motes of sawdust still in the air. At 86, Dad’s glaucoma had progressed significantly, which made finding just the wrench/pliers/tape measure he had in mind difficult.  He would lift each off the workbench and into the light that streamed  through the doorway, shake his head, put it down, pick up another, and finally say that’s the one.

I realized then he knew the best by hand and by heart.

The timeworn container topped off, he matter-of-factly snapped the latches shut, handed it to me to carry to my car, and returned to his front-room recliner. I managed to stumble through the box-filled back porch and down the basement stairs, two steps ahead of the tears.

I hope to put Dad’s blue-handled Craftsman® hammer to use in a way he would have loved this coming weekend.  My designer friend Helen has conscripted a dozen or so of us for Team Enzed ( as part of Frederic Printing’s Habitat for Humanity house (  It should be great fun…and knowing a deserving family is just waiting for their keys and their future is fantastic.

The construction part of the project is virtually complete, I understand, so Team Enzed’s contributions will be of the painting and finishing kind.  But I intend to ask the project manager if he will let me pound just one nail—somewhere, anywhere—in memory of master carpenter Carl A. Thompson.

Let’s hope he says yes.


4 Responses to “Now, I have a hammer…”

  1. Now you’ve got me crying!!! I agree with Kate…..wonderful tribute to Dad.

    • Doris, can you believe all the things our dads and others of their generation were skilled in doing? They were carpenters and plumbers and electricians and roofers and whatever else needed done. Amazing. C.

  2. Annnndddd…..super Dad’s!!!!!! My Dad never told us “no” to anything. His reply would be “ask your mother” or “we’ll see”. We always knew when he meant the reply would be “no”, but he never said it. We’ve talked about that alot.

  3. Isn’t it amazing how our Dad’s could do it all? Or did it just seem that way? Dad never told us “no” either and was always very soft spoken. I’m sure as children growing up we took him too much for granted….but I do appreciate all that he did for our family. We kids all have some of Dad’s tools; those were his prized possessions. Thanks for the memories!

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