I can remember when I was very young dad buying me toy tool sets and showing me how to hammer nails in and turn screws. He was a cabinet maker in England when he was young and I guess he wanted me to have an interest in wood working and to learn how to use tools properly. Which I did. I always loved creating things out of wood just like him. As I grew up I helped dad make and build things out of wood and we did a few projects together around the house. I took wood shop in High School and was expected to complete 3 projects over the first semester. I completed them all well before anyone else and ended up being given the task of helping the students that were having a hard time with theirs. All that hammer swinging at home with dad and having those skills put me ahead of the other kids.
When I am working on things now I can still remember the little tips he would give me. Ill be doing something and his voice will pop into my head, "always work on a solid surface" or "Hold the hammer at the handle, don't crop up on it" I'll always carry those with me.
One of things I owe my dad most for is, and my mum will remember, I was a very curious kid and always wanted to know how things worked. Especially electronic things. On occasion, mum or dad would go to use some device around the house and discover that it had been mysteriously taken apart but not correctly reassembled so it would have no hope of ever functioning correctly again. I drove mum and dad crazy.
I recall one day when I took apart their really cool flip clock, one of those clocks with all the numbers on little flaps that would flip over as the time changed. It was fascinating. Mum opened the door to my room to find me surrounded by hundreds of little black number tabs. There was no way anyone could have ever put it back together, it was all over for the cool little flip clock.
But I Know How They Work!
So dad started picking up old radios and electronic things for me on his travels for work so that I would stop taking apart all their stuff. I learned a lot about the design and workings of electronics and eventually that led to my interest in electronics and computers which I am still doing today.
One thing Dad always told me that has really stuck with me and enters my mind a lot. He told me this one day when I was having girl troubles, "no matter what happens between the two of you" He said, "Always Be Kind"
That will always be with me.