The Joy of a Well Used Tool

I like tools.

I like tools quite a bit.

I can’t imagine life without tools.

Of course, it is our tools that separate us from mere animals, or so my anthropologist minded friends tell me. I’m not sure that true, but I’ll give them their little fantasy.

The only thing I like better than tools would have to be watching people that use them well.

Watching Mike Roberts play a guitar is pure joy. The way he effortlessly manipulates the strings on the neck to produce music as sweet as any you’ve ever heard is amazing. I can think of five people off the top of my head that can do the same thing with a piano. Eddie Russell and a bass, snare and a couple of cymbals is pure magic.

My friend Brandon can do things with a chop saw that I’d swear was impossible. I’ve seen him cut a complex angle freehand using nothing but his eye and his skill.

Eddi Smith can do things with a video camera that makes me jealous. Jeff White doesn’t look like he’s trying and produces some of the most amazing photographs I’ve ever seen. David Hatch make a computer produce the most amazing images while Kim Parker is insane with a paintbrush.

I like tools and I like people who use them well.

So what promoted this? As I’ve been writing this I’ve been watching three guys from Joe Webster Tree Service take down a massive storm damaged tree. Parts had fallen on fences and buildings. It was between two houses and a basket ball goal. These three hard working fellows who know their trade used their tools like masters. No part of the tree was ever out of their control. The one on the chain saw was surgical and precise, cutting logs under intense pressure with skill. The one on the crane kept trunks under control and put the cut logs into their truck, moving past obstacles with the grace of a dancer. The foreman kept watch and unloaded the crane, offering advice and his skill where needed (if not always appreciated).

There used to be a song for guys and gals like these I’ve mentioned. Next time your about to partake of your favorite adult beverage, hoist it high, think of all the people who are damn good with tools, and repeat after me.

This one’s for you!

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