The Power of a Hand Tool.

Hand Tool – a tool held in the hand and not operated by electricity or other power.

While driving to work, something on the radio sparked a memory from childhood. I have many cherished items in my home and while I try not to be materialistic, they REALLY mean something to me. Perhaps the best examples would be the pieces of furniture made by my grandfather or great grandfather. The family history of those pieces, where they lived, how they were made, is wonderful. The physical reminder of those creative men makes me proud…and happy.

One smaller item that I have come to cherish is a screwdriver that my Dad gave me. It lives in the hot pink tool box along with other useful hand tools. Its first home was a small tool box Dad gave me when I moved into my first apartment. It was full of the basics for hanging pictures, putting things together, and killing spiders (you get creative when necessary). The screwdriver has 4 heads, two flat head sizes and two Phillips head sizes. The handle is yellow with the old Hechinger Co. Logo on the side. The Hechinger Co. was a hardware retail chain whose home headquarters was located in Landover, MD. They were in business from 1911-1999 and was at one time the main hardware and lumber store in Laurel, MD where I grew up (we always just called it Hechingers). It is the location where my Dad went to purchase the lumber he used to build stuff. He built lots of things when I was younger. He built bookshelves, a sandbox for my sister and I, rabbit hutches, and a microwave cart for my mom when we got our first microwave. I can remember riding on the divided lumber cart until we reached the lumber aisle, a memory that surfaces when I use my screwdriver.

My Dad doesn’t really build things anymore but I always admire his creative side and the ability to do so. I assume much of that was taught to him by his father, who built many of the aforementioned treasures. Perhaps my desire to build and create started at the local Hechinger, with my Dad, riding on a lumber cart.