Happy and Sad #1: Just retired and also Just lost a Friend

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Blog entry by NormG posted 10-19-2020 09:04 PM 597 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Happy part – Well, I have officially retired, I think 48 years of working has been enough. Will leave metime to clean the shop up,make repairs and start making sawdust.

Sad part – Last week a friend of mine passed away, has known him a long time and also worked with one of his daughters. He retired as few years ago (was a few years older than me also).

After a short wake service was held at the house, his wife, daughters, grand kinds and son-laws were left. I was leaving and his wife suggested I stay as she had something to show everyone. I will make this short as possible.

Eileen is his second wife.

In 1971 Scott left for Vietnam, returning and leaving service in 1973. Prior to this he had asked his first wife Donna to marry him, he found some Craftsman House plans and built her a home (Donna was an only child and her parents died when she was young). Donna’s only condition was that the final piece of molding not be put in place until he returned and then they would move into the house. He returned, moulding put in place and they moved in. I never knew Donna.

First daughter was born in 1974 and second daughter in 1976. Donna fell ill not long after second daughter was born and passed away from a severe case of what they think was the Spanish Flu. Donna was aware she might not recover and she insisted that Eileen and Scott marry if she did not. Eileen has a medical condition that prevents her from having children. Scott built each of his daughters a crib.

Now back to the house build. Well seems Scott has a 14 by 22 foot shop out back that nobody knew about except Eileen. Eileen retrieves a key, from a drawer, takes us all out back and after pulling some vines away from a fence, we are in front of a building. Eileen said that after Donna died, Scott only went into the Shop a handful of times and no one has been inside since at least 1977. Scott had asked Eileen not to tell anyone about the Shop as that time had passed and she never did. The girls thought that everything on the other side of the fence belonged to someone else. After some wd40 sprayed in the lock, we entered.

Now I know how he built the house. Every piece of equipment was from the 40’s to the early 60’s, used and was gray or painted yellow and green. Uni table saw, delta jointer, delta combination table saw with a jointer on the side, old craftsman RAS, delta belt sander, disk sander, hand saws and many hand planes, dado set still in the box it came with from Sears, Compas’, 3 wood folded measuring rulers, a cloth 50 foot tape and to many other tools to mention. All the hand tools were on the walls, or in holders built just for them, a very nice workbench with vices on each corner (I think it came out of a school), wood saw horses and a shaving horse. Overhead lights are those round warehouse lights, they worked except a couple of them. Other than some expected surface rusting you could have started a project. I would have asked to take photos but thought it was inappropriate. Maybe at a later time.

Needless to say the girls were in tears and so surprised, I was just very surprised, Scott never said anything about his shop, even when he assisted me with things. He had 3 old metal craftsman tool boxes in the house, 1 for wood, 1 for electric and 1 for plumbing related things. You never know what you will come across.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

2 comments so far

View sras's profile


6254 posts in 4289 days

#1 posted 10-20-2020 02:24 AM

That’s quite a story – sorry for the loss of your firend. Thanks for sharing.

And – congrats on the retirement.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


18424 posts in 2298 days

#2 posted 10-20-2020 11:43 AM

Very nice story. Like Steve said, condolences and congratulations. It probably seems strange to most of us that he had that shop back there all those years and never spent time in it. Of course, it probably doesn’t surprise most of us that he still kept all those old tools and the shop in tact anyway :-) Whatever his reasons were, it sounds like he certainly made good use of it to provide for his family.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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