I knew he had lots of tools and even his own drill press but I just figured that was all car guy related. How wrong I was. All I had to do was complain about something. “The strap for my new bike light is supposed to fit on the seat post. It won’t fit on the rack so I’ll have to take it back.” He picked it up. “Let me think a while,” he said. Three hours later a bracket that exactly fit the strap appeared on my bike. He retrofitted a side mirror into the handlebar of my bike. It took a couple power tools and some cussing but he made it work. When I got a
kayak he built a car top carrier. I am short and my boat is big, so Ben made tested and improved on a number of devices to make it easier to load my boat, including a roller contraption made of PVC pipe that fit on the bike rack. The list of things big and small he has fixed or made for me over the years is endless.
door. Since we have been in Eastpoint for two months he’s become a regular. The cashier greeted him when we walked in with “Hi there, back again, sweetie?” on the most recent visit to the hardware store in Eastpoint. Two weeks ago I grumbled “my cockpit cover fills up with water like a birdbath when it rains.” A couple hours later he made a support out of PVC pipe with just enough angle bungeed to the rim of the cockpit to prop the cover. Bam! Now rain runs off the surface.
If I compliment his work Ben will say he has no creativity nor any aptitude for doing things. It couldn’t be further from the truth. He is a Maker, the kind that sees a finished product in his mind’s eye and works back from his vision to construct it. When he starts scouting for stray pieces of cardboard I know he’s got an idea and is working on a template. He measures, cuts, tapes, glues and fusses. The rattle of a spray can tells me he’s putting the final touches on something he is ready to show. Yes, he paints his templates so that they look as close to the finished project as possible. He has a collection of other Maker friends who possess the one or two skills he lacks, and will go to them with his template and measurements to have something formed or welded. He will appear with an armload of disparate pieces and parts, and disappears into a corner of the garage or basement for a few hours. He might take a break to go to the hardware store–he goes there a lot, did I tell you that? Then he appears with the perfect solution to whatever problem he chose to solve. He makes things for me, his family and friends. You know Ben cares for you if he MacGyvers something for you.