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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Goodbye, Old Friend

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Eighty-plus videos and in every one, if you look closely, you will see my old friend. But, sadly, no more. My favorite tape measure disintegrated today, irreparable. No more will you see my yellow buddy, hanging on to my jeans pocket. Comfortable, well worn, experienced and familiar. I will miss you.

Figure 6 - Alas, my old friend was beyond repair

I think of all the projects we did together… we built houses, shops, tables, chests, boxes, stools, cabinets, fences, barns, stairs, chairs, beds, benches and more. Over a long life that yellow metal tape measure traveled with me from shop to shop, my constant, sometimes underappreciated, but ever-faithful companion.

Some people believe spirits can occupy inanimate objects. If they are right, there was a positive, supportive, and forgiving spirit in my old tape measure. Some people believe in reincarnation. If they are right, I hope my old tape measure will find a new life in the hands of a young woodworker, just starting out. Some people believe that mere objects can have no intrinsic value, that they are "just" objects. Those people are wrong.

As another recently lost old friend once said, "I have been and shall always be your friend."

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