I see signs. I take note. I might drive by, but I have a collection of other people’s junk from when a yard sale was more than I could resist. And, didn't try.
When I see a multi-family sale, I slow, but not stop. I push back.
My aviation toolbox was supposed to be exclusively for aviation tools.
It held the open-end and box wrenches, socket wrenches and specialty tools used in aviation. There is a magneto tester, three spools of stainless steel wire, safety wire pliers and stuff.
An aviation nut on a bolt is secured by a safety wire through the nut and bolt twisted to secure the two — and it has to be in the proper direction. Dropping nuts and bolts from an airplane in flight is unprofessional.
Now that tool box holds everything you can think of, and I’d be hard pressed to replace it.
For the next unfilled afternoon the tool box is at the top of the list. Besides, it’s too heavy to lift.
My father’s tool box was a shoe box-sized tin container with few items. There was one flat-bladed screw driver and one for Phillips-headed screws, a pair of pliers, a small hammer and an adjustable (monkey) wrench.
As time progressed, so did the items in his tool box, but only in number, not variety.
Uncle Guy Phillips was a part-time carpenter who liked to build log houses.
He loved log buildings so much that he built one as a vacation home for his older brother; the home still stands on Dog River.
His tool box was a long, wooden tray with handle that held his two saws and carpentry tools. He used a hatchet, brace and bits, rasps, folding rule, roofing square, chisels and a hand drill.
Guy only used hand tools. He didn’t own an electric drill.
All of Guy’s tools are still around, and the rightful heir is my son, Doug, who inherited Guy’s knack for straightening problems with a building, skilled at making or fixing things and building things by hand.
I’ve avoided yard sales for the last few years, but the Kansas woman brings things home from the thrift store where she volunteers.
It was a heavy, slightly rusted, long-used, clam-shell tool box.
The box opens from the top to reveal shelves inside to hold small things.
I wonder at the man who owned the tool box and how it found it’s way to the thrift store.
It is a working man’s tool box. I believe some guy made his living working with tools from this box.
I can use the old box to hold overflow from my aviation tool box.
But I know me. I’ll always wonder about the man who owned it.
A mystery is harder to resist than a multi-family yard sale.
Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at email@example.com.