The following is part of a post I wrote way back in July 2004 while visiting my parents. There are any number of ways I could describe my father...I could tell you about his love for the Lord, how he pretty much had the entire Bible memorized, quoting Scripture left and right, and how much he'd remind you of one of those tent-revival preachers when he got on a roll. Or what a mechanical genius he was (especially in his younger days), so good he could accurately diagnose car problems over the phone. But what I will say is this: There was more to him than met the eye.
"For all his love of technology, it would almost be impossible to believe that this is the same man that knows such old-fashioned arts as crocheting and tatting, and yet it's true. Dad made almost every doily they own, as well as a huge tablecloth of such intricate beauty I can hardly imagine how he could've ever had the time to make it as a young man working in a factory forty hours a week. This 350-pound man who used to make teenage boys tremble with fear, the man who used to look almost exactly like Jackie Gleason and exuded the quiet strength of Vito Corleone is currently teaching me how to work a tatting shuttle. The dichotomy astounds me. And though his eyesight is failing and most of his joints are in a constant aching pain, his fingers (huge as they are) are still as nimble and swift at their work as any I've ever seen. Since I play the piano, one might assume that this sort of thing should come easily to me, but it doesn't. I'm just barely starting to get the hang of how to hold the thread and weave the shuttle in and out of its little loops to make the knots just right, but it's going to be a long, slow process of tedious practice before I ever get any better. Dad just makes it all look so easy."
Tatted doily made by Dad