My grandfather on my mother’s side made this for me by hand and gave it to me for a Birthday present. Can’t remember exactly when, but it was about second grade. I remember he told me we could mount it on a pole and the wind would make the propeller go around and the tail would swing around to to point show the direction the wind was blowing. I thought that was a very cool thing indeed.
I can’t remember for sure if my dad ever did actually mount it on a pole in the yard or not. I think he did. But it could also be that the image my grandfather planted in my head was so vivid that I only remember the visions. Doesn’t matter, really.
My grandfather did a lot of things, he was a highway surveyor, a farmer, and a cowboy. Well, sorta. He raised black angus cattle on the land he and my grandmother inherited. I remember going with him to “the farm” and watching him feed the cattle. He claimed that the cows knew the sound of his truck and they would head toward the gate when they heard him coming down the highway. I believed him. I was about 6 or 7.
But he also worked in a lumber yard for many years. The “cowboy” gig being, a part time job/hobby. I don’t know where he picked up his woodworking skills. But he made that plane by hand out of cheap plywood from the lumber yard. The wheels are made out of tinker toys. It’s funny in a way. It’s not at all an example of fine wood working. It’s toy made out of cheap parts cut out with a jig saw and glued and stapled together. But even so it is well made. I was always sure it could fly if the wind was strong enough.
It’s not the sturdiest thing in the world. The wood is very light and thin. It is a tribute to my parents that it has survived, by my count, 5 different house moves. And it has survived 3 moves since I’ve left the house and been in charge of it. It’s big. It’s bulky. It’s fragile. But it survived without a single bit of damage.
But it was time to say good bye to it. With Pat moving in and the two of us combining households. I decided that I was ready to let it go. But what do you do with an artifact like that. I figured no antique shop would take it. It’s just not that sort of relic. But I couldn’t just throw it in the garbage either. So I took it to the orange county salvage shed. This is the place were you take stuff that’s still serviceable but not wanted anymore. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a big fan of getting stuff Out Of The House by way of the The Salvage Shed. I can’t imagine what anyone would see in it or what they would do with it. I kinda doubt anyone would think of it as a weather vane. But next time I went to the dump, it wasn’t at the Salvage Shed any more. So someone did something with it. And the burden of taking care of it and storing has been lifted and I get to keep the happy memories.