Saturday 18 February 2012: Unusual
As read at my father's funeral, 7 years ago:
It may be a bit unusual to read a bit about a cheese slicer in church, but my father was a bit of an usual man. His ability to see things for what they were, and their value, didn't just focus on people, but also on things around the house. Through the years that resulted in a collection of items that were just a bit 'off'.
"Such a waste to throw it out", my father said, for example about the food bowl of Fluf, our dog. When it sprung a hole at the bottom, he screwed in a bolt and put on a nut. Good to go for another few years. "If we start to get defects, you're not going to be throwing us out either, are you?" he said when I would comment.
In November I went over for a day to clean the attic and found a vacuum cleaner he had gotten at a garage sale. When they had returned home they found it no longer had any wheels on it so my mother had to drag it along like a block of cement. Another special quality was that the vaccuum cleaner really only worked for about 30 seconds; after that it resolutely stopped and needed a half an hour break. "But it still works, doesn't it?" said papa when I complained about that, "such a waste to throw it out!"
When I wanted to make a sandwich around noon there was something next to the cheese that carried the trademarks of my father's reparation love. A cheese slicer. Or so it seemed. In between my outbursts of laughter Papa told me that Mama had let the handle melt on a hot stove, but that it always had been such a good slicer. Throwing it out was not an option. He said that he had sawn the handle off an old duster, made a notch in it, filled it with glue and put the slicer in it. After that it had stood for quite some time in the steel vice in the shed ... where for so many years, many repared misfits had gone before him.
I pointed out 2 small holes on the blade. "You could've put a bit of wire through these", I said, "and then have attached it to the wood like that". "YES!", papa said, and he looked proud as my observation proved I am definitely taking after him.
When I returned a week later he smilingly showed me a new cheese slicer. "Look!" "It didn't break, that other one?"I feared. "Of course not", Papa said. Upon that I assumed that cheese slicers had been on sale at Aldi. "Eighty cents", Papa acknowledged. "Do you want the old one, or should it go into the museum?" I thought about it for a second. "I think it's such an item of beauty, Pap, I feel it should be lying in a drawer here for all eternity."
If you've read all of this, thank you.
I am 2 months in the (print of a scan of the) photo I am holding. My dad is only a few months older than I am now.