Memories of Making

Mom's Folks

Blue Ford, round fenders.
I see feet, hear cussing, then
“Hand me the wrench, please!”

Scrimshaw and tatting,
old sailor’s arts made tiny
in my mother’s hands.

No money for a piano,
so he got one secondhand,
took it apart, removing

the player roll mechanism
so his bride could play music.

Long after both had passed on
I wore that piano’s steel key
in my own wedding.

Saws, hammers, glues, clamps,
the clean scent of fresh cut wood
growing strip by strip

into a solid oiled block.
instead of money, he spent
months assembling scraps.

I helped, well, tried to.
That long ago gift is still
used in my kitchen.

“Oh, you’ll love this!” she said, “Here,
let me show you.” Hot water
in a pan with nail polish.

Yes, really. Then, the paper
laid ever so carefully
to float on water. Magic?

Mysterious dials and wires
defined gramp’s ham radio,

dad’s basement-built computer,
both! It must run in our genes.


6 responses to “Memories of Making

  1. Wow, what lovely memories–wonder if you could tell me more about wearing the piano’s steel key in your wedding?

  2. I was drawn it to thinking of my parents and grandparents – all gone now. Lovely collection of memories.

    • I realized later I left out a couple important parts. Those stories include both parents and grands on one side, but I forgot the grands on the other side. Shame on me. Will need to add more later.

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