Old Tools – December, 2008

Old Tools – December, 2008

Originally uploaded by sdmonty

Boston got a bit of snow and ice today, so I suited up and helped Dad clear the driveway.

When it came time to do the front and back steps and walkways, which are narrow, brick and do not lend themselves to the large, plow-like shovels we used to clear the driveway. So, I went into the garage and pulled out this small, red shovel I had as a kid; this thing must have been bought in 1973… and of course it still works just fine.

This flies in the face of traditional American capitalist existence. After all, our principal duty is to consume, consume, consume (or, as our current leader invoked after we were so viciously attacked in 2001, “go out and shop”). We’re supposed to “keep up with the Jones”, and have the latest, greatest do-dad. As a confirmed geek, I myself have been guilty of buying, or merely coveting, that snazzy new iPod or flat-panel television (or, if any of my relatives are reading this and there’s still time in the X-mas shopping season, a new MacBook Pro…).

In contrast, here is a tool, bought over thirty-five years ago, made of wood and steel, that has held together and does not need replacing. I can’t help but wonder, if we built more things like this, would we have avoided the rabid consumption which has pitched the economy into a tail-spin and the ecosystems of the planet into disarray?

closer shot of red shovel

closer shot of red shovel

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