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Growing up, my Dad was the original "Maker of Things." [flickr id="7392007582" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] Summer-time weekends were always spent on the jet boat he built his senior year of shop class in high school. When I was 2, he built me a bed — not out of pallets like I did for my daughters, but a better-than-store-bought bed with cut-outs in the headboard, and drawers beneath the mattress. My baby dolls also slept well in a cradle he built for them that now resides in my girls' room. Many of the toys and furniture we had were built by him. In junior high, when I decided I needed hurdles to practice at home with to further my track career, I had them the very next weekend. [flickr id="7391983764" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] His frienda called him MacWalter in homage to MacGyver, the popular 80's tv show where the main character routinely saved the day with only a paper-clip, a wad of chewing gum & a rubber band. [flickr id="7391993332" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] While I was in college he made me a set of drawers out of a tree stump that we found on a camping trip. It's still one of my favorite possessions. [flickr id="7391974160" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] His biggest building accomplishment (though I'm still pretty impressed by the jet boat) is by far his passive-solar-heated house that he built with only the help of my Mom & family here and there from the ground up. I can only think of 3 things that he didn't do himself in that house: pour the foundation, though if my memory serves correctly, he built the forms; stucco the 35' wall the runs the entire height of the house, and build the kitchen cabinets – though I he could have & I wonder if he regrets not doing it. [flickr id="7392002150" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] That house took up a large chunk of my childhood. We moved in years before it was completed and just kept moving our stuff into the rooms as they were finished — which took many years. But that meant that stuff was constantly being made around me and I was involved. My earliest job at the age of 6 was picking up nails. Later I became a pro at filling nail holes, sanding & staining woodwork & trim. I also became the resident wall-paper installer (It was the 90's!!). [flickr id="7391987094" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"] I have so many memories of my father in his wood-shop, the smell of sawdust & building almost anything that when he and my Mom came for a visit a few weeks ago, I was thrilled when he wanted to build a bird house with my girls. It was a pretty hot day, thus their enthusiasm over the project waned a bit once it got right down to it, but I hope it's memory they will treasure always. Just as I do all my time spent with my Daddy in his shop. I think it's fairly obvious that I am a "Maker of Thing" because he was. [flickr id="7392036178" thumbnail="medium_640" overlay="false" size="medium" group="" align="none"]



. . . and not only did your dad make things but he would also make things so that he could make things. If he didn’t have the right tool, or jig, or clamp, or molding knives, he would make it so he could then make the thing he was intending to make. Almost perfect was never good enough. Precision was a must.
— from an older brother and MacWalter wannabe

May 27, 2015

Helen S:

What a wonderful tribute to your daddy!

May 27, 2015


Who isn’t in awe of Daryl’s creative abilities? When he built the boat Grandpa and Grandma gave him five dollars for the project. (five dollars meant something in those days). I’m proud of Daryl and his daughter,too.

May 27, 2015


how sweet and special! now I see where you got all your talent ;)
to have this close bond with a grandfather is for sure a precious gift. and to hold such dear memories of an amazing father even better huh?

so happy to see you on my blog today. I missed connecting with you and will for sure catch up with your happenings. your girls look so big and beautiful!! congrats

May 27, 2015


This was really sweet to read and see your two girls with him. Very special!

May 27, 2015

Lori Danelle:

You would have been amused with him and that bird house. That drill was the only power tool — though I could see his anxiety when he found out we didn’t have a hand planer. There were many improvisions in true MacWalter fashion, followed by exclamations of “that’s just going to have to do” with a bit of a head shake. ;) Had he been in his own shop those birds might have ended up with a 3-story mansion complete with a back deck & hot tub!

And I feel your pain. It’s tough living in the shadow of perfection. Ha! ;)

May 27, 2015

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