In The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde wrote, “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.”
But Wilde was wrong; I’m actually turning into my grandfather. Like him, I’ve always been fairly curmudgeonly (just ask my mother!). Like him, I’ve been known to enjoy a drink after work. And now, like him, I consider myself a woodworker.
When my grandfather died a couple years ago, I inherited some of his tools, including his jointer plane (a No. 7) that I cleaned up and use in our shop (you can see it on the November 2009 cover). I also recently inherited a copy of his U-BILD plan for a child’s “Step-Chair” (pattern No. 102). It cost Emmett Fitzpatrick one hard-earned dollar in (I think) 1954, which at the time was a fair amount to his young family. But gosh has that $1 been worth the outlay, at least to my family.
Emmett made that “Step-Chair” for his younger children. Then later, he made one for all of his grandchildren (at least I’m pretty sure that’s right). All told, he used that pattern at least seven times.
And when my aunt Sharon first became a grandmother, her husband, Michael, got a copy of the plan, and made the stool for their granddaughter. Then another one for their second granddaughter.
And now my brother, Ian, has a young daughter; I’m going to Florida late next week, where I’ll meet her for the first time. But first, I have to make a “Step-Chair.”