My father had a serious and dedicated side, which I always admired. He was dedicated to his work in the way that some people are dedicated to a true love. The work and the people associated with the shop occupied the greatest portion of his life. Then there was the spontaneous and fun – loving side of my father, which I adored. This was where we connected the most.
Some of the best times I recall with my father were the days when he’d come home from work, smelling a little like sawdust and linseed oil, and announce that he was ready to go to “the Pit.” One particularly hot day in late April or early May, he came home and asked, “Are you ready to go swimming?” We both knew it was a somewhat crazy idea, since the quarry water, at that point, was closer to ice than to water. But we felt compelled. We took the Dodge van to Steel Derrick and stood on the concrete wall by the sluice gate for just a few seconds. Then, like two kids in a dare, we hit the water and made a frenzied dash for the warm granite ledges fifteen feet away. It was an exhilarating and memorable way to kick off the swimming season.
During the early 70’s, Barbara Garlick and I bought a high – maintenance sailboat we called the Zephyr (later bought by folks at the shop and known as the Werkmeister). When it wasn’t swamped at the mooring or washed up on the rocks, it provided a lot of entertainment. On our only sail together, CB and I took the Fish boat out towards the Rockport breakwater. When we got out to the shallow waters of the Flat Ground, he stood up and told me to keep him in sight, and he dove off the side of the boat. I tacked in a wide triangle around him, until he finally signaled for me to pick him up. He climbed back aboard with a satisfied grin.
One Christmas morning, my brother Si and I came downstairs to see a handmade train board under the tree. The green plywood sheet was designed to hang from the block and tackle in the loft of the barn. The X – O gauge train tracks ran in two connecting layers around the board. Si had just barely tried out his present, when my father seized control of the double transformer and the two locomotives. He put the cars back – to – back on the track and tweaked the throttles, just waiting to see where the collision would occur. We always wondered for whom that present was really intended!
We saw the original Starwars movie together; it was the second time for CB and the first time for me. As we came out of the show he talked excitedly about the “hardware” they’d used in the film. He loved all the gadgetry and its innovative forms and functions. I doubt he remembered anything about the plot or the characters, but the toys were enough to make him see it twice.
Miranda Fisk prepared this photo collage of the Fisk family and the barn which would become home.