For some reason, these past few months I‘ve been thinking about that incident with Mr. MB and my hammer. I‘m not sure why. Realistically, it shouldn‘t be a big deal anymore. There‘s no reason to think I‘d still have it if I had reclaimed it. I would have left that hammer at home when I joined the navy, and one of my younger brothers would probably have lost it or someone would have walked off with it. Even if I‘d kept it, with multiple moves and getting my workshop flooded twice while living in Mississippi there‘s no reason to think it wouldn‘t have been lost anyway. But maybe not.
Over the years since I’ve owned several nice hammers. My current favorite is an excellent Estwing forged steel claw hammer with a leather wrapped handle. It’s the kind of hammer that, if I had a son, I’d pass on to him as an heirloom. But the hammer I had from my grandfather was also an heirloom. I lost it because I couldn’t stand up for myself to a teacher who should have known better.
My grandfather didn’t own much when he passed, and I have very few things to remember him by; a set of his wrenches, a few things I had given him as gifts that my mother gave back to me after he passed, and a few photos. The important thing I do have from him is a love for woodworking, tools, and fishing.
I’m not much of a fisherman, but now that I have a boat and some free time I’m trying to relearn. However, fish do not fear me. I have become a reasonably decent handyman over the years, but I’m nowhere close to my grandfather. I like to think that some of the projects I’ve accomplished would please my grandfather, if he should see them.
I just wish I had stood up to that condescending, arrogant, inept teacher all those years ago and replied “Yes, I do want that old worn-out hammer.”