I found this book at a local thrift store last week. It's not much to look at on the cover but in the week that it has been mine it has come to represent everything that I've learned from my dad and everything I had still to learn.
It is called Amateur Craftsman's Cyclopedia of Things to Make
Popular Science Publishing Company, Inc.
When I found it I was instantly excited and my first thought was to get it and show it to my dad. It literally took a second before I realized that I would never get that chance. So looking through this book has been off an on a sad thing to do, but also exciting and inspirational at the same time. It is filled with all kinds of projects from making toys to making a radio, from scratch, to match your couch. (really).
In it are the kinds of projects my father would have jumped right into and probably did at one point or another during his lifetime.
He was a craftsman through and through. He was the kind of guy that wanted to know how things worked so he would read about it and do it. He was a master jeweler, probably the best there was in Arkansas, the one that other jewelers would send their 'tough' jobs to. In his life he built a sailboat, a guitar from scratch he even handmade the molds for it, furniture, "Frankenstein" machines (you know the electricity machines that go "zap" "zap", he found some original Tesla Gas tubes at a flea market and stared researching them to rebuild the machine. When I was a teenager I got into indian bead weaving and he built me a full size adjustable bead loom without a pattern, just made it up, which I still have and pull out occasionally.
He always inspired me to create and make things with my own hands.
I had and still have tremendous respect for that type of mentality, for him, myself, and others I meet who believe that being a "craftsman" is important.
Creating things with your own two hands and a creative mindset, a can-do attitude is a valuable part of what makes us human.
So I've scanned a few pages to show you a very limited number of the MANY projects in this book...
It's just such a neat old book I had to share it and my thoughts with you.
Isn't it strange how things like this pop up in our lives?