It’s Just an Old Shovel

My blog has been full of reminiscence about my grandfather since shortly before his death. I have mused about his contributions to my life, his wisdom, his love and saying good bye to a man who meant so much to me. Saturday, while doing some work at the house I was in the workshop where,  for fifty years,  he made shutters, doors, desks and more out of wood in a way that made carpentry seem as simple as breathing. In the basement of his shop, looking for a work lamp, I came across a familiar green shovel rusting in the corner. It was an entrenchment tool, a remnant of his brief career in the Army Air Force during World War II. As a child I had marveled over its design and versatility, had used it for digging ditches and trenches in the field where I searched for buried Confederate gold and arrow heads from a time of antiquity. He took pride in his tools and to see any of them, especially one I had known so intimately growing up, left to rot in shadow was unbearable. I loaded it into my truck, brought it home and went to work. I cleaned the blade, oiled the hinges and repainted it to its original OD green. And why, you may ask, did I do this?

Truth is, I have no idea.

It’s a shovel. Forged from steel in a foundry in 1945 and issued to him as a part of his gear, it was one of many shovels and other lawn tools in that basement. But it was one that had fascinated me in my childhood and was a part of the legacy of the man I loved and respected, revered as a leader of a family and as a loving grandfather and teacher. Grief is a funny thing and, tonight, looking at this 70 year old piece of wood and metal that means nothing to anyone other than me, I feel as if,  in some way, by restoring this tool and adding it to my tool box I have done honor to his memory and put a smile on his face… wherever he may have gone.

imageLooks almost new.


About Danno

Dan Lee is a freelance writer, critic, independent author and publisher, as well as a horror culture correspondent. His articles, interviews, editorials, and fictional works continue to run on several sites and publications. He is also one of the resurrectionists behind the return of the Nashville Zombie Walk (2017).
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