Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Father's saw.

Have you ever held onto a really impractical item just for emotional reasons? Like maybe a five foot high hulking piece of metal? I did for twenty years, storing an outdated Sears Craftsman circular saw in my garage. The reason? It was my Dad's. My father Tom used the saw to build the garage, porch, extra bedroom and and other home construction projects at our small house. (With me holding the wood steady as the sawdust blew in my face.) My father passed away twenty one years ago and his saw sat in his garage for about four years after that. I inherited the saw when my mother asked me if I wanted it? I couldn't say no, so I carted the big monster home with all those great memories of Dad using it for his home improvement projects. That was 17 years ago. Since then the saw has sat in my garage totally unused, unless you count it's use as a shelf for cases of soda or beer! But I walked by it everyday, admiring it as a reminder of the old man.

Fast forward to this Spring when I finally told myself it was time to break my emotional attachment with Dad's saw. I had to make room in the garage. So grudgingly, I took photos of the saw and posted it on Craigslist. Knowing these old albatrosses don't sell for much money, I listed it for only 25 dollars. But even at that low price, I had no takers.

Then something weird happened. I received an anonymous e-mail from a gentleman who told me the saw was under recall by the manufacturer. The unprotected saw blade was a safety hazard, so the company was offering $100 dollars for the motor! I was shocked since I was originally hoping to get just 25 dollars for the thing! The mystery e-mailer provided me with the name of the company website and told me to contact them. I did and a few days later the company sent me a box to ship the motor back to them. I disassembled Dad's saw and with a free shipping label they provided, sent the motor back via Federal Express. A few weeks later, I received a check for one hundred dollars in the mail!

I sent the anonymous e-mailer a thank you message for taking the time to contact me about the recall. I was really hoping to hear back from the gentleman but I never did. It made me wonder if maybe his name was Tom?

Anyway, Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there.
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  1. What a great story! I know exactly what you mean. My dad passed away almost 28 years ago and I still have his old surveying instrument that I have absolutely no use for. Don't know why I'm still hanging on to it since I have no particular memories about it. I think mostly it's out of sight, out of mind. But your story may inspire me to sell it ... and in the process clean out the garage. Maybe there IS money in my garage! Happy Father's Day!

  2. Rita- That's great! Yeah, much as we may want to, we can't hold onto everything! Thanks....

  3. ude and Rita,

    I can relate; I still have a partially built U-Control airplane my Dad gave me and we worked on when I was about 14. I know I will never fly and finish it, but some how I can't bring myself to part with it.

    The survey instrument is cool. I was a surveyor myself for many years. I would investigate the instrument before selling it, some of them can be quite valuable.

    Good Hunting


  4. Very cool, maybe you should string it up for display and/or to admire it. Probably would look pretty neat....

  5. Recalled items can be very profitable! Before our baby was born, I bought a baby bassinet for $10 at a garage sale and when we went to Babies R Us, by chance we noticed the same bassinet on their "recall list". Turns out they were recalled and BRUs was giving full retail value (including sales tax!), no receipt needed. I ended up with a gift card for $150+!
    Happy Belated Father's day, Dude!

  6. Thanks Anonymous-I had a similar situation with a puppet stage. Worthy of a blog entry soon..

  7. Beautiful story. Aren't strangers wonderful? Anyhoo, yes, we all have attachments to material objects, right?

  8. Six Ballons - We sure do, some stuff is not just "stuff" to us, if you know what I mean. Thanks for enjoying the blog....Dude