A Handy Dad Fosters a Love of Building
Associate editor Patrick McCombe describes working with his dad on home projects
Until I was a teen, I didn’t realize most people hire painters, plumbers, and carpenters to fix things around the house. I always assumed people had to do those things for themselves, because my dad always did. Watching and helping him as a little boy demystified construction and inspired my lifelong passion for home building. As an automotive service manager, it would be a stretch to say he was highly skilled at home repair, but he was pretty handy and would tackle everything from painting and plumbing to roof work and weatherization.
When I showed an interest in construction and mechanics, he gave me unfettered access to his large collection of tools, hardware, and scrap material — and he was surprisingly patient when I would leave his hatchet or pruning saw in the woods. And when I was in high school, he bought me a set of mechanic’s tools and a rolling tool chest to hold them, so I could keep my beater cars on the road. Later, when I told him I didn’t want to sit in an office all day and instead I wanted to be a carpenter, I got a circular saw and a cross-over truck box for college graduation. Although my Dad died almost 10 years ago, I still think often about him and all the things he taught me. I miss you Dad — thanks for everything.