Daddy’s Hammer

–Stories From The Dirt Road

The workshop was quiet and filled with the smell of wood, maple, oak, and pine.  Daddy was standing by his workbench sanding a board, getting it smooth.  I waited quietly for him to notice me.  This was his sanctuary, a place where he came to relax, to create, and often share words about life.  He finally saw me and motioned to a stool for me to sit, throwing me some sandpaper.  It was understood that I would help him.  He took my hand and showed me how to sand the wood.  This was the fine sanding done just before the staining.

Daddy left me to the sanding and picked up his two hammers, one was a Ball Pein and the other an Edward Oak claw hammer.  He used these to build hope chest and jewelry boxes.   He did build me a bookcase and a toy box.  He talked to me often about doing things that relaxed your mind and to build things for others.  He always built things that lasted and gave to others rarely keeping anything for himself.  I loved the time I spent in Daddy’s workshop.  It was a time when we were the closest and I could feel his love the most.

After Daddy passed, I went to his woodshop to say goodbye for it was there in that shop with all the smells, the wood, and the sawdust that I learned who he was and what he felt.  He was always a mystery to me.  He had a third-grade education and could only print his letters.  After we left the farm him and mom,  who also had little education, did well in life, but his greatest gifts to me were quietly spoken words, his love, his kindness, and two hammers that I still have.  They always remind me when he would say tap do not hammer, be proud of what you do, and always do something for others without expecting anything in return.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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