Adam Savage reminds me of my Grandma Allen

He has a youtube channel called tested.  On it he occasionally buildS something that intrigues him.  I love watching people make things and so I always watch whatever he is building, even if the things he is making have no particular interest to me.

My grandmother was a maker.  Of course in her day they didn’t use that term.  But she and Adam would have gotten along like a house afire, as she would say.

She would have loved his cave of infinite tools and machines.  She would have enjoyed spending hours working out the solution to a particular maker issue.

Unlike Adam, Grandma would not have collected every possible thing that she might use on some future project.  She was frugal to her bones.  She raised a young family during the depression.  So having 10 of the same type of pliers would be an unwise use of her money.  But she would NEVER project any of her own frugality on to him.  She would enjoy his 10 nearly identical pliers and more so enjoy the fact that he enjoys them.  Grandma’s gift was accepting people for who and what they are.  She never wanted the world to be her way.

In this latest video, he’s making a car seat bed for his dogs to keep them from ripping up the leather.  As he measures and cuts, its apparent that he is no longer going to a TV set where a makeup artist is making him and his hands presentable.  His nails and hands are a MESS.  He’s obviously been working on something that stained his hands and nails.  Not something we get to see him make sadly.

Grandma, being a woman, had a very hard time with this aspect of the maker life.  Because when you work with oils and stains and just work with your hands, they get grimey.  Its the natural outcome of the work.  She had more types of nail brushes, pumice stones, and horrible harsh handwashes than I can bear even remembering.  But she never sat down to dinner with her nails dirty.   She would not have criticized him for his though.  She would only have wanted to know what he was making.

I wish I had the natural energy that permeates Adam and Grandma.  That energy that makes things.  That has an idea and then just MAKES it.  I have ideas and then I realize I can’t do it.  Before it even lives for long in my brain it dies.  I think most people are like me.  We don’t walk dauntless into a project.  We recognize its many mistakes in embryo and abort the idea  before its flaws are made into reality.  Grandma and Adam, the makers of the world, they are OK with the mistakes.  Its part of the process.  Its OK.  Because they love the process as much the finished product.  More probably.

I miss Grandma a lot.  And of course she would never had met Adam.  But its fun to imagine her in his cave discussing ways and means for some project, unafraid of the huge buzzing machines, revelling in creating  a new thing or revitalizing an old one.  I think he would have liked her too.  Well, to be honest, I don’t think there was a soul on earth who didn’t love Grandma.  She was just one of those people.



3 thoughts on “Adam Savage reminds me of my Grandma Allen

  1. Wow, she sounds like an amazing person!

    But don’t dismiss your own potential. I used to feel that way as well until I realized that if I never tried I was never going to do, well, anything, really. I wanted to be a writer, but never thought I had the talent. But I started submitting articles to computer magazines in the 80s, and after more rejections than I care to think of, sold a couple of pieces and ended up as a columnist for a couple of small (very small) market computer magazines and eventually was an editor. It was the same with woodworking. I love fine furniture and fine woods, but never thought I could actually make something. Something finally pushed me to try and yes, I had a lot of failures (there’s a reason why almost every woodworker has a firepit in his backyard), but it turned out I could indeed do it and I occasionally make arts and crafts or mission style furniture. And I had a lot of truly epic screw ups along the way. If you let fear of failure hold you back, you’ll never try anything. Yes, you will fail. A lot. Sometimes it just won’t work out at all. But sometimes it will, and the successes make all the failure worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

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