Rebecca Martin’s “Little Shop of Disorder” editorial (July/August 2019) inspired me to write about my dad’s workshop, a repurposed chicken house where chrome-plated Craftsman tools hung on the walls. Poultry netting covered the window, and clumped together nearby were a sea of pliers, hammers, screwdrivers, and clamps. The gigantic bench vise was used for bending metal and wire, and for holding a garden hoe, scythe, or sickle while we sharpened them with a flat file or whetstone; that was one of the many jobs I helped Dad accomplish.

I also helped keep the shop organized, which wasn’t one of Dad’s strengths. A disarmed World War II pineapple grenade hung alongside the tools in the window, and in the corner sat another World War II relic: an empty 88mm artillery shell that Dad had proudly promised to turn into a bank or lamp.

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