Reading the Unexpected

The Top Drawer: Reading the Unexpected

TechShop Managing Editor Eric Garbe learns some American History from an old set of books.

I’m known among my circle of friends for being notoriously busy, and even though I vow that every year I’m going to have more free time, it just doesn’t happen. So, when a friend asked the other day how I was doing during the COVID-19 situation and I answered that I was busier than ever, I’m pretty sure he fell out of his chair. 

I’m either a glutton for punishment or a victim of my own circumstance, but either way, my remote control has a half-inch of dust on top of it. As soon as it looks like I’m about to finish a project, I somehow find another one to put on deck.

But I still find time to read late in the evenings, and in the early onset of this crisis — when all of a sudden there was nothing in any of the stores and it looked like some of us may run out of supplies that we take for granted — I got lost in a train of thought. I was pondering what we did before we had all of these luxuries, and it dawned on me I should read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.

As luck would have it, a few months ago I unexpectedly ran across the entire set of books and was told I could have them. Honestly, I’ve wanted to read them for years, just never got around to getting them. Now, you might be laughing because these were written for children and, quite often, they are thought of as books for little girls.

Laugh or not, I can tell you they are very interesting books and they are quite a history lesson on early American life. What people did, how little they had and how hard they worked makes me realize, as busy as I am, that my days are just a walk in the park and that none of us have even a shred of room to complain about being without any of our luxuries.

I recommend these books to anyone, and they’re a nice escape from the realities of today back to a simpler time. I think I could have lived back then, if they only had hot rods…the horse and buggy just won’t do!

This issue of TechShop is our annual Trade Show Issue where we share the experience of the trade shows that occur during the first half of the year. Luckily, we were able to attend the Mac Tools Tool Fair and the Matco Tools Expo, both which occurred in February, just barely a week before we realized the seriousness of this virus. We’ve missed shows since that won’t happen again until next year and we’re disappointed that we didn’t get to see our friends in the industry, but we’re glad that we are all doing our part to remain healthy.

In the meantime, the show must go on and we’ve kept track of all the new tools coming out so we can bring you the trade show experience even though we’ve missed a couple. Stay healthy! We’ll get through this together!

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