Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Wagonmaster

Day 146
The Daily DuBrule

When I first started Natureworks almost 30 years ago, my father was a great supporter of my endeavor. From making benches to loaning me money, he and my mother were 100% behind me in my effort to own a business. One of the neatest things that he did was make wagons for the retail store.

Dad would comb the neighborhood for discarded wagons, baby carriages, fertilizer spreaders, basically anything that had wheels, axles, and handles. He set up a wagon workshop in the back yard next to his shed. He made a huge wooden box where he stored all the parts. He would take the broken wagons apart and rebuild them. Eventually he learned it was best to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. He started naming them. "Elderbud" which is DuBrule spelled backwards. "Y-Not" which is Tony spelled backwards (when I got engaged). We came up with names for the staff like "All for Amy" and "Colleen's Carry All". There was "Phil-er-up". It made my garden center just that much more personal and everyone loved them. When they would break or get hit by a car in the parking lot, I would stuff them into my station wagon and bring them back to the Wagonmaster for fixing. The second I pulled into the driveway, he was by the car, taking out the wagons and dragging over to his workshop. He LOVED doing it.

Eventually, my dad got too old and too sick to fix or make wagons. When the day came when I finally had to BUY wagons for the garden center, it broke my heart. The were charmless and utilitarian.
 The old wagons piled up in the back and I finally decided to do something with them. Amber made a miniature fairy garden out of one which I found to be simply delightful. I decided to do a wagon train along our north property line. I also included some old wheelbarrow. Yup, he collected them too, adding new handles or whatever. It gave me great joy to plant these up and make a little display to honor my Wagonmaster the weekend of Father's Day. Man, I miss him so much. This is the first Father's Day without him. I bet he's smiling down at the planted wagons though, thinking how great it is that I didn't discard them. A Yankee to the core, that was my Daddy-o.

1 comment:

  1. I was admiring the photos on your Facebook page- what a nice background story. :) I'm sure he loves them.