Memorial Day always brings thoughts of my dad who I worked with as a helper as a child and who worked with me when he retired as an adult. He never really swore in mixed company using his famous “NUTS!” as the expletive if something went wrong. He was an ‘officer and gentlemen” as the old saying goes.
He had actually been with Patton at the Battle of the Bulge time and I guess he picked up the phrase “Nuts” from General McAuliffe who was the acting commander of the 101st Airborne at the siege of Bastogne. The general had quite a history..he had flown in on a glider before D Day. When asked to surrender by the Germans who had his troops surrounded, he sent back one of the most famous WWII replies…one word…”NUTS!” Some say it was because he didn't want to be remembered for a swear word..but whatever...
Dad taught me everything about construction and electricity - I remember his saying, ”If you are going to learn to drive a car, you should know how it works and how to fix it”. If I had and older model truck I could still do it today. I even rebuilt an engine in the dead of winter and repaired anything I could.
His motto was...”IF YOU CAN READ AND HAVE THE TOOLS YOU CAN DO ALMOST ANYTHING!” You can!
My favorite story was the time I bought a house in Syracuse and we had to jack up the basement in one part because of a broken beam. I came home from a job…contracting…and dad was in the basement. He told me to hold this timber in place and he worked the jack. We could not lift it…the timber came loose and hit me in the head.
After much effort and two jacks we got it sort of up there. One day I decided to hang a shelf on the wall above the bad area and “bam” I found the reason why we had such a hard time. A former owner had taken a chimney out in the basement and on the outside but not in the middle…. He or she had walled it off!
P.S. The word he used when
the beam came loose and hit me was “Nuts”. I said something