An interview with Tom Berge
7 months ago
"'Dad, now they're only
down by 6!'
8/1/05 CLE 15 SEA 14
Patrick Collins kept the faith."
If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?
It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air
Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow
Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone
You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home
Many years ago -- probably about 16 -- I was trying to get at some water pipe that was frozen below the kitchen at our house in Sheffield. I didn't have the right tools so I just took a hammer and whacked at the cabinet floor covering the pipe. "Mom, Dad's breaking the house," a young child said. That was you, with an early -- yet precise -- assessment of my handyman skills; this, on top of my historical lack of success with tools (See attached).
I don't know when it was that I started getting interested in tools; perhaps it's a "guy thing" that develops sometime, you just don't know when. I was a late bloomer. And since you are like me, this gift will probably mean nothing to you. But someday it will. And just as your grandfather (Papa) gave me my first toolbox, I give this to you, including a few to get you going. Rest assured: you'll need more.
I think tools are a metaphor for life in general. You start out with barely enough to get by and when you try to use what you've got, well, sometimes you end up breaking the house. But you keep at it and you just keep adding more tools. You add more tools first because you might need them someday, and then just because tools are cool.
I give you this with these few words of advice, metaphorical or not:
1) Don't buy cheap, crappy tools. No matter what kind of deal it seems like, no matter how much -- or how little -- you spend, when you get home and open the package, you've got cheap crap. Buy good tools.
2) Don't throw away tools. Find a good home for them instead.
3) Build something someday. It doesn't have to be anything big. It could be an airplane, it could be a birdhouse. Just build it as well as you can and it'll serve as a reminder to all that you were here.
4) Don't be afraid to break the house.
5) If you have a son -- or daughter -- someday, give 'em a toolbox when they turn 21. And then someday later, give him your tools. One at a time, so that when you're gone, they're still building things that remind people that you were here.
That way, when your kid uses a tool you gave him, he'll be reminded that his Dad loved him like there was no tomorrow.
As I love you.
The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.