Grandpa Andy and the shoemaker saying.

All I know is this: when he said it, you knew how he felt. I was only nine or less when he said it to Dad more than once, so we all got to hear it. I kept what he said but no way am I able to tell you the true gist.

Andy had a wry side, and he used many a quip to let you know his mood. To warn you to back off, he had ways to give you a kick in the butt in a few words, or only one and done. When he had to keep an eye on me I’d ask for a tool of his and he oft said, a girl need not be in the shop. He said it soft and curt, like a Dane. If I was mute, in time he let me hit a nail or use a file to keep me busy so he’d be free to go back to his task.

When I went to study art I took up his work; to fix, make, hang and form; from sack, skin, tree, card, tin, PVC, iron, wood and so on. I work in his shop using tools he made with such care. They fit in the hand, trim, buff, easy to use, worn to feel like fine silk. His best went into each one. He did no less in all his work.

So he’d jibe about a shoe to note you did not do your best. He gave Dad a boot when Dad made a rush job or did not care to mind over the look of his work. Andy was not bent on being chic or arty. His ilk was more a wish for form, and even more, a call to take a bit more time, have a keen eye, keep it neat, but don’t lose time over too much fuss. We knew what he said, and even if we have no real grip on his old saws, we got his word to the wise worn into us. He’d pose his jab in a well used line, cite the rule in long gone cant, till we’d want to do more than slap dash mend a shoe.

One thought on “Grandpa Andy by Bari Falese

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