Craftsman Essay Contest Submission

January 2019

I grew up among the rolling hills of Appalachia in South-Central Pennsylvania. As the son of a local city police officer and the grandson of generations of farmers, I wasn’t raised in a home with excess money or wealth. When things broke, we fixed them ourselves.

From the age of 5, I became my father’s little helper. When cars needed fixed, I stood alongside holding flashlights or running into the garage to fetch tools, towels, or the next part for the project. Many weekends were spent assisting in helping my father with replacing brake pads, changing oil in the cars, or general home repairs or upgrades. On the rare occasion a tool would break or the even more rare occasion that my dad didn’t have the tool for the job – into the car we would go to make the hour and a half round trip to the nearest Sears. As a child, if I would’ve had a dollar for every time my dad would tell me about how Craftsman brand tools were the only ones he would buy —”because they have the best warranty and craftsmanship for the price”— I could’ve nearly afforded to buy him an auto shop’s worth of rollaway tool chests. It all left a lasting effect though.

Hard work was expected and required in our home. And I was taught to work diligently from a young age. As soon as I was tall enough to see over the handle of the seemingly antiquated household push mower, which of course was a Craftsman, I was expected to spend a couple hours each week mowing the large tree lined plot of property we lived on. At 12 I began my first job working for a local farmer, shoveling out horse stalls and filling feeders with hay. At 16, when I bought my first car, my dad presented me with one of my most cherished possessions still used til this day – a basic Craftsman mechanics tool set. Through my teenage years and into college, I worked as a mechanic and salesperson at a small local bicycle shop. After college, I decided that it was time to give back to my country and community and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard as a helicopter mechanic – a decision that would later lead into me now working as a full time civilian aircraft mechanic.

As I entered the world of being a civilian mechanic I had to put together my own proper tool chest for work, and I’m proud to say that the chest is full Craftsman tools.

Someday, I look forward to being a father of my own children and on the rare times that I might break a tool or the even rarer occasion I don’t have what I need, I’ll be sure to mention on the way to the store how Craftsman tools are only tools I’ll buy “because they have the best warranty and craftsmanship for the price”.

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