My good friend Iggy, the trained shop monkey.
He’s got a really good story. It started a few years ago, after my oldest son came out to the shop to watch dad work. After a few minutes, I set him up on a section of the shop floor with some scraps and a bottle of Elmer’s white glue.
While I watched him work, I started calling him my little shop monkey. It was a cute thing to call a cute kid, and he was in his glory impressing the heck out of his dad. After that, every so often, I would call him that when he came out to the shop.
Fast forward a few years later when I took a class with Marc Spagnuolo at a woodworking school in Indiana. While Marc was showing his mastery of woodworking, I showed that I was still a little rough around the edges in my technique. He was trying to pump up my confidence, and I, recalling that moment back in my shop, started referring to myself as the trained shop monkey.
When I got back to Florida, I joked with my sons that I had taken the title of trained shop monkey from my oldest. They kids were laughing, but I could see the gears starting to spin in their heads.
The following month, when Father’s Day rolled around, my wife told me that we were going on a little trip. We piled into the car and headed over to International Mall in Tampa.
Right to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
The kids wanted to make sure that I had my own shop monkey. So, the Adoption Experts helped me select the right monkey. We stuffed that little guy and gave him an air bath, as is customary for all animals adopted there. We also selected the proper boots and clothes for a day in the shop, and a tool belt. Of course, my youngest son pointed out, I couldn’t forget the safety glasses.
Sure, it was a silly gift. But, whenever I’m having a tough day at work and a long night of speaking at hurricane seminars, I can come home, kiss the kids goodnight while they sleep and take a quick glance at Iggy before I head out to the shop.
That reminds me that my little shop monkeys really do care about their dad.
To all the fathers out there, have a very happy Father’s Day.