“Don’t use so much tape!”

Bench GrinderThis afternoon I took a gift over to my friend Victor. He turned 86 today. He has become a good friend, even though he doesn’t let me talk much. I initially hooked up with him to form a symbiotic relationship. He is an old bicycle builder. I figured I could help him out in his shop (yes, he still works every day he physically can) and he would teach me all the finer points of bike building and repair. However, most of the time we just stand in his shop and he tells me stories…for hours at a time.

I met him about 4 months ago. From that time until now he has been saying that he needed to get a new wire brush for his bench grinder. He often tries to clean things with the little bit of wire he has left on the wheel. However there is not enough left to accomplish anything. I knew a month ago that I wanted to get him a new brush for his birthday.

When I delivered the present to him I sat and watched as he and his dear wife fought with the tape and paper trying to get the box open. I try to be patient with them and let them do as much as they can on their own; I don’t want to rob them of their last bit of independence. However my embarrassment got the best of me and I had to help them open the box. I should have known not to use 5 pieces of tape when 3 would have worked.

Next time I will put his gift in a bag.

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