Sunday, January 08, 2006

Priceless, or Worthless?

Man, today was tough.

For ALL of my life (35 years and counting), Daddy pretty much always had the right tool for the job. Way back to when I was a little boy.

I've been working since my late teens to accumulate my own collection of tools... and once Dad's Garage was built, and our rollaways were next to each other, you'd have to get into some real specialty shit to find something that neither one of us had.

That's priceless.

Knowing how to do a job, and having the right tool to do it... good Lord... that's how I grew up. Daddy knew how to do EVERYTHING (at least it seemed so to me as a little guy), and he always had the right tool for the job.

As I grew up, I found jobs Dad didn't have the right tools for... or jobs *I* didn't have the right tools for... and getting the right tool for the job was sometimes a stretch, financially. But it always pays to have the right tool for the job.

These days, with the combination of my tools and Daddy's tools in Dad's Garage, it's a pretty rare that I don't have the right tool for any given job. Still happens once in a while, but not frequently.

Today, Uncle Alex and I did an inventory and evaluation of Daddy's tools. Honest eval, as in, "If these were all to be sold, how much money would Jenni and I split?" I'm keeping all the tools, so she gets their value in cash from Daddy's estate... Dad, Jenni and I talked about that when he was working up his will, and we agreed on this method of fair valuation.

I have NO rocks to throw at Uncle Alex... I suggested using him to valuate tools, as he's a professional mechanic, and knows what tools are worth... and he's not a beneficiary, so he can be a neutral voice.

What hit me so hard, though, is how little Daddy's tools are worth, if we were to sell them and Jenni and I split the money. Nearly worthless, in many cases.

But they're priceless to me, in terms of what those tools let me do.

Those tools turned Daddy into Superman. There wasn't anything he couldn't do!

Now they're my tools, and it's my turn to be Superman... and... well, Daddy taught me how to use them, so maybe I'll be able to fill those boots.

Bottom line is... those tools are priceless.

And it kinda hurt... no, it hurt a lot... to face reality, that those tools that could turn an Average Joe into a Superman, were only worth a few bucks if they were to be sold and Lil' Sis and I to split the money.

That's the bottom line of what hurt... the tools that Daddy accumulated over his life, and spent as much as he could to acquire GOOD tools, really aren't worth that much monetarily.

You could almost, but not quite, call them worthless, if you don't know how to use them.

But to me, since Daddy taught me how to use them, they're priceless.


Blogger Cap' Mo said...

A new tool can do the same job as an old one that has been used for years. What makes a tool precious though is the blood, sweat, tears (or in the case of auto repair, cursing) and memories that are attached to each piece. Reagan will forever remember the first ever pressure gage that he used on his bike tires this weekend. I'll always remember that big-assed breaker bar that we are supposed to use instead of a piece of scrap pipe as a cheater bar.
The things that we learn out at "Daddy's Garage" will follow us the rest of our days my friend. Be satisfied with that, unfortunatley there is not a price that Jenni can gain a profit from, but then I know that she's not after the money any way. She would love the work and education that is still being passed down at her daddy's place. Thanks for being there bud.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Aaron Neal said...

I guess that's what gets to me... the "priceless" parts are easy to see, and Jenni sees them too - she reaped the benefit of me having spare vehicles over Christmas.

It's just a little hurtful to realize how "worthless" those same same tools are if they were to be sold. But maybe that makes them all the more priceless, since they're being kept and used, and not sold.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Aaron Neal said...

And good point Cap... not to mention that Reagan's not going to get a chance to forget that pressure gage... he's going to be regularly checking the tire pressures in my truck tires, and whatever you bring over... and before long, he'll be checking and changing oil! I look forward to the day that I can get him to honestly say, "Daddy, you've let the truck go too long without an oil change!"

When that happens, I'm gonna laugh my ass off, hand you a beer, and hand Reagan his own socket set. And tell him to change the damn oil already.

11:13 PM  

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