More Grandpa Davey Speaks
A Path with a Heart
A Stop at Willoughby
Can't Captue It
Invest in Yourself
Killing Me Softly
Leave it to Beaver
Lost in the Grand Canyon
Mind Over Temperature
Mother of all Storms
No Sense at All
Not Shadow People
Squirt Gets Run Over
The Cheapest Medicine
The Golden Calf
Ticket to Freedom
Two Types of Girls
Vaya Con Dios
Where's the Beef?
Worst Case Scenario
Clutching the tubular steel frame with my left hand, I prepared to
break loose the component frozen to the corroded assembly. With
calculated movements, my right hand first swung back the 48 oz. maul
and then let loose with a full swing toward the recalcitrant part.
What went wrong, I do not know. The full force of the hammer blow
landed squarely in the center of my left hand.
Recounting this incident reminds me of a long ago time much
different than our plastic throw-away world. In 1929, a time of cast
iron and steel, a perfectly engineered machine was created. The
Locke Triplex Reel Mower was produced in the early days of power
lawn mowers. The first generation production included a myriad of
novel features never to be improved upon in fifty years of
At sixteen, my first summer job consisted of disassembling retired
Locke Machines from the fifties and sixties to salvage replacement
parts as spares for machines in current service. These machines
consisted of components that were all serviceable, replaceable and
interchangeable. These were machines that could last forever.
Apparently those engineers of eighty years ago didnít understand the
need for planned obsolescence.
Iím totally at a loss as how to describe many of the unique features
of this six hundred-pound cast iron and steel wonder. As such, you
will have to ask me personally. For now, just visualize a golf
course quality mower with a six-foot wide cut capable of mowing
almost two acres per hour and built to last forever.
Back to 1979, a 1957 vintage lawn mower and my damaged left hand.
Staring at the puffy purple flesh of my swelling hand, I knew I must
have broken every bone in the vicinity. As both my hands were coated
in black greasy grime, I went to the sink to wash before going to
the hospital. Due to shock or self-control, I blocked out the pain
and scrubbed with GO-JO until all was clean. Before proceeding to
the emergency room I performed a self examination. All my phalanges
seemed to work correctly. Still blocking the pain, I noticed that
the purple and swelling had disappeared. I ceased to block the pain
and realized that there was none. This was odd, so I just called it
a day and went home.
Almost thirty years later, I still have no explanation but I am
pleased with the outcome.