I have an unexpected day off today, so I’m using the time to do a brake job on my truck. Yes, I’m the guy that still changes his own oil, that washes his own vehicles and the guy that refuses to pay anyone to do anything that he can do himself. That’s a trait that I mostly attribute to my dad, he could fix darned near anything or at least rig it well enough to passably function.
Dad was a telephone man by trade, he worked as a Line Repairman for Bell South for over 30 years. But he was a true jack of all trades. He did a large amount of the work needed to build the house that I spent a large part of my youth in and I did the same thing with my home 20 years later. In fact, that’s one of the last projects dad helped me with, it wasn’t too long after that he started showing signs of the PPA that would eventually lead to us losing him.
Dad’s not the only person who instilled the DIY attitude in me. My uncle Colquitt Arnold, who passed about a year before dad, was very much the same way. He was a farmer for a large portion of his life but he did more things than I can imagine. For a few summers in high school, I worked for him cutting lumber at his backyard sawmill and building picnic tables at his barn/shop. During those summers I never saw him call for help when fixing all of the equipment that we used, he just did it. Uncle Colquitt probably deserves a bit more attention on this blog, I’ll make a point to write a bit more about him soon.
Although a lot of folks may say that I’m just a cheap skate, it’s more than that. It’s knowing that I can take care of myself and my family, it’s taking pride in doing something myself. I now make sure that I take the time to include my son on my projects so that he might pick up a bit of the DIY spark himself.