It all started when Mister E broke his dad’s table saw.
Well, he thought he broke it, which is about the same. It turned out to just be a matter of his leaning against the reset button on the power strip so it all worked out in the end, but the amusing anecdote that it spawned was enough to start a really great series of events when we were in Fort Worth.
You see, my father-in-law makes beer boxes. They’re pretty great looking; an Igloo cooler inside a recycled barnwood box with iron decorations that are then painted and stained by his wife. The Dad makes custom furniture with a small company that has done work for people like Ross Perot Jr. and less fancy people who have big houses . So as you can see, my family is filled with creative people that do wonderful things. Meanwhile, I play video games.
At first, when we thought the table saw was broken, Mister E’s dad thought he was going to have to go buy a new one so they closed up shop for the day, only to discover that it was indeed the work of my husband leaning on something. We decided that since the shop had been shut down we would go to The Dad’s shop so Mister E’s parents could see the sheer scale on which they worked. They were excited to see the big operation and after consulting with The Dad we were off to Everman to take a look at the freaking airplane hangar that houses their shop.
The only people at The Dad’s shop were him, his coworker Richard, and Big Mike, the owner. I’ve known Big Mike since before I was born and he was pleased to see me, as he always is. Mister E’s dad and stepmom, meanwhile, were being shown about the place by The Dad and were impressed by the size of the place and the projects they were working on. Then we introduced Mike to the parents and it was all over.
Big Mike loves showing people the shop he was once a lowly carpenter’s assistant at a shop in Ft. Worth and retains every bit of the good-natured attitude you would expect from someone who has worked his way up to owning a successful business. He took over the tour and started talking to Mister E’s dad and stepmom like they were old friends. And while that isn’t entirely accurate, it’s close.
You see, Big Mike and Mister E’s dad went to high school together and were two years apart (Mister E’s dad is older). They had a lot of the same teachers and friends, and by the time I got back from helping The Dad glue something, they were getting on like a house afire. The topic naturally turned to the beer boxes and then to the table saw incident, at which point Big Mike said “I have a table saw you can use. I actually have two, you can pick which one you like.” We were all pretty much blown away.
So everything worked out really well in the end. Even though the table saw wasn’t broken, The Dad and Mister E’s dad got together a week or so after we left town and went to get the new table saw. All that’s left is for Mister E’s dad to rewire the place to use the saw and get some ventilation (The Dad made some helpful recommendations) and he’ll be well on his way to working out of his own hangar.