The Absent Uncle: 'You dumb kid'

D.C. Schultz, Guest columnist

Just the other day I had one of the most interesting experiences ever. I was at the local food bank doing my normal volunteer time sorting and boxing canned donations. Another volunteer asked me for some help in his area to fix a tool he needed to maintain some equipment.

He was in the process of changing the cartridge in a hand-operated grease gun and was having a hard time in holding the pieces and assembling the tool.

So, I came into the project half way through, was asked to hold pieces so that the assembly could be finished. I enjoy and respect the fellow that asked me to help. We work together well and I tried as best I could to follow his direction to finish the task. But……

Over my shoulder I kept hearing this voice; “You dumb kid, don’t you know anything”? 

Nobody was there to say those words, but they were so familiar.   

We kept working with the task and suddenly I remembered exactly how to finish it. I disassembled the tool and reassembled it correctly with no difficulty. It was done in a jiffy and worked perfectly.

But that voice, “You dumb kid, don’t you know anything”. It was my dad. A farmer’s farmer. He could fix anything with pliers and a bit of baling wire. I really can’t tell you how many times I heard that dumb kid thing– and learned so much from his tutelage on project after project. 

Now I could tell you stories about some the stuff I observed him do and was told to keep my mouth shut about. But that is not what this column is about.

And if he would have been there to really observe, he probably would have asked how come it took so long. Dumb kids learn slowly, Dad, but they don’t forget who taught them. Thanks.


The Brandon Valley Journal


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