Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


December 22, 2013

What is your talent or gift?

- — The concept of Santa and MacGyver brought back a flood of Christmas memories. My dad is one of those do-it-yourself guys. Growing up, he seemed to always have a tool in his hand. He constantly had a project, mostly one that ran on four wheels, or maybe more if it was a church bus. One thing I always remember about my dad’s skill with a wrench is how he used it to help others. I could count on a church bus in the garage. Or a friend from church asking questions about a motor or a weird sound. He used his knowledge of mechanics to help others. It was and still is his gift. My dad has always been fascinated by my career. He wants to know how I come up with words, how I track down stories and write a column every week. To him, it sounds hard. But man, you should see him rebuild an engine. I could never do that. Sometimes he used his talents during the holidays. He put together numerous bikes and toys into the night on Christmas Eve, while eating the cookies left out for Santa. Most likely my mom had the instructions. One year, he didn’t need any instructions. He spent months building a Go-Kart for my brother, Matt. I never saw my brother more excited than on Christmas morning. He sat in the driver’s seat for hours. Matt even ate his breakfast in the G-Kart.

You can’t buy those type of gifts; they are one-of-a kind and special. Even though the present wasn’t mine, I was equally surprised. I was amazed my dad could create something so complicated like a Go-Kart. That Christmas reaffirmed what I already knew. My dad could make anything. Of course, as an adult, I now realize there are limits to his skills. However, he can still impress his daughter almost every time. I can count on him to give mini-tours of his garage and show off the progress of a 1960s Chevy truck. It is coming along slowly. I smile at his eagerness. He finally has his own project, something that gives him joy. I am proud of him. It is his turn but he is never too busy to fix my broken headlight on a cold Monday night.

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