The Woodshop

Lately when I go to Morris to visit Keely and the boys, 4-year-old Grayson insists we play his new favorite game, Woodshop.

In the basement of the house Grayson’s dad has a workshop filled with tools and wood. Naturally Grayson also wanted to have a workshop there as well. So, next to his father’s work area, he set up his own work bench along with his own child-sized tools.

The game Woodshop is simple. Grayson is the owner of his very own business. I play the role of various customers who visit Grayson’s Woodshop to have work done. Here is how the first day went.

I arrived at the shop with a broken dirt bike. I introduced myself as John Smith from down the road.

“My son’s dirt bike doesn’t run,” i said, after shaking Grayson’s hand. “Can you fix it.”

“Sure,” Grayson said, enthusiastically. And he went to work, pounding on the bike with his plastic hammer, then wiping it down with paper towels.

“All done,” Grayson said, as he stood before the bike. ( which really belongs to Aidan and takes up permanent residence in the basement, but we can overlook that.)

“Wow, as good as new,” I said, playing the role of good ole John Smith from down the street. “How much do I owe you?”

“Nothing,” Grayson said, casually. “It’s free.”

And with that I left Grayson’s Woodshop only to return moments later as Jim Higgins. I was carrying two pieces of wood I picked up off the dusty floor. After introducing myself I handed the wood to Grayson and asked if he could fashion me a bird house.

“Of course,” Grayson replied.

Again, Grayson went to work, hammering and chopping with his plastic hammer and axe. I pretended to be talking on my cell phone when Grayson stuffed the two pieces of wood under a table and casually picked up a wooden birdhouse from the shelf that his big brother Aidan had made for a Cub Scout project.

“Here ya go,” Grayson said, handing me the wooden birdhouse fit for the Holy Dove himself.

“Thank you sir,” I said. “This is perfect….How much do i owe you?”

‘It’s free,” Grayson said, once again.

I left the woodshop, ready to return for a third time as a new customer. I noticed Aidan’s wooden Louisville Slugger baseball bat in the corner of the basement and picked it up. I stepped outside, then knocked.

“Come in,” Grayson said.

His eyes beamed as he watched me come around the corner holding the baseball bat.

“Hi, I’m Derek Jeter, ” i said, holding out my hand. “Do you know who I am?”

“Yeah, you play for the Yankees,” Grayson said.

I told Grayson that I heard he was the best woodworker in town and my favorite bat was broken. I needed it fixed for the playoffs.

“No problem,” Grayson said, taking the bat from my hand as if it were some glorious, yet fragile,  toy.

A few moments later, after some hammering and sawing and wiping, the bat was done. Grayson smiled wide as he handed me the bat.

“Here ya go Derek Jeter,” he said.

“Thanks  Grayson, ” I said.  “It looks as good as new…. How much do I owe you?”

Grayson held out his little hand, and with a serious look on his face said,

“$10,000.”

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One Response to “The Woodshop”

  1. Precious ! Ty so much for that story.

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