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The box

Posted February 26, 2014 in Community Featured, Waukee
Nate Garvey inherited the toolbox his father crafted in shop class in 1964.

Nate Garvey inherited the toolbox his father crafted in shop class in 1964.

If it’s true the little things shouldn’t be overlooked, then garages are no different.  In fact, depending on the garage, it might be worth looking twice because even the most unobtrusive items have a story to tell.

Just ask Nate Garvey. He has been storing his dad’s toolbox in his garage for the last few years. Although he knew his dad, Denny, made it, Garvey knew little beyond that, and the toolbox went largely unnoticed. In fact, his wife Stephanie thought the toolbox was something her father-in-law purchased at a store long before she and Garvey moved to Waukee.

“To me,” Garvey says, “it was the first tackle box we had.” But further investigation revealed the toolbox meant a little bit more. He learned his father made it during shop class in 1964 while a sophomore at Stratford Community School.

“Mr. Yenger’s class,” Garvey says, reflecting how quickly his father remembered the details.

His dad received a “satisfactory” grade for the project.  According to Garvey, he didn’t receive a higher grade because, “…the handles were too short and the rivets were not up to the teacher’s standards.” However, this didn’t stop him from using the toolbox once the project was complete. He stored automotive tools, housing wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and electrical tape.

When Garvey and his older brother came along, the toolbox was transformed into a tackle box.  The boys used it to store their fishing gear, taking it on outings with their dad.

“He took my brother and I to the Des Moines Area Community College pond in Ankeny,” Garvey says. “We would take our Snoopy fishing poles and the metal toolbox and catch fish. We’d catch bluegill there and thought they were the biggest fish.”

Twenty years later, things have changed. Garvey inherited the toolbox once he became a homeowner. Another change was parenthood. Now father to daughter, Nyla, 3, and son, Pearce, 14 months, Garvey hopes to continue the tradition of giving. He would like to pass the toolbox down to his son with plans that it will “…again hopefully be filled with hooks, bobbers, and weights,” much the way it was during his childhood.

For a toolbox that received a “satisfactory” grade 50 years ago, this is one example where the memories created and those yet to be made have more than exceeded expectations.

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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