My dad was an HVAC contractor and serviceman. He worked hard, whenever he was needed and in some unpleasant places. Over the years, he missed many family events fixing stuff so others could be comfortable or run their businesses. Well known in Rumson and the surrounding area, he was the last of a breed that has died off, putting the final nail in the coffin of quality.
Our garage became home to motors, pipes, copper, lead, evaporators, wires, and tons of shit that meant nothing to most people. As a kid, I was always interested in the copper barrel. It was close to the door, so I got in for a look and out the door quickly. The shop was doubly painful for me being a physically dangerous place and a mental cluster. I had no interest in learning the trade.
To me, the copper barrel contained endless stories carried from the homes and businesses they were removed from. I suspected that then and know that now. I learned anything in the copper barrel had value; it could be sold as scrap whose price changed daily. I was more interested in this than a copper pipe carrying gas to make something run.
After my parents passed, I made many trips to the scrapyard with copper, lead, and recyclable materials of many kinds to clear the property and raise money for a charity. I did that and felt good about it. I made dozens of trips to the scrapyard in Freehold and got to know the guys who worked there a little as I drove on the scale to be weighed each day.
I left behind an untold number of stories as I rolled away in the old truck one last time, having finished a job my dad started many years ago.