I'm fortunate to have had two living grandfathers through most of my life. One a one time vaudeville dancer, clarinet player, and aircraft manufacturing engineer. He finished high school at sixteen and went off to college. But he had to leave after the crash in '29. Worked odd jobs throughout the depression. Told stories about getting held up at gunpoint by folks even more desperate, or less willing to work than him. He liked his martinis dry. "Just wave the vermouth over the glass..." The other, first generation, American born Irish with a sparkle in his eye. Lost his dad in a rail yard accident when he was only seven or eight. He pursued my grandmother even after her Polish father said "no way". Her family ultimately adopted him as if he were one of their own. He told me stories about his father in law as if he were his own dad.
Among the things I'm packing up this week are another great grandfather's hand planes, bits, and brace. There's a lot of history, a lot of fathers... Imagine a bit of Thoreau, Mark Twain, St. Patrick, St. Joseph and more, shaken, not stirred, there's my collective Dads.