25 years

That’s the length of my relationship with Exeter Rent All. Mike Parkin was on the desk all the time in the early days.

Before the tents , and  inflatable bouncy rooms .

I am going to miss them. Yup, they are out of the business of tool and equipment rental.

Oh, if you are having a party give them a call, but forget about that wall paper steamer.

I just  used them recently for a belt sander and would have been screwed without that rental, I had a perfect weather window to get the job done, that last week of August.

Doozies 50th Tent, tables and chairs.

Floor sanders,buffers through the years (I am pretty good with a sander) , but the last time around I used one of these dustless contractors to get the first floor done. There is no dust, it’s amazing.

“I can do it Doozie, I just need to rent a piece of equipment.”  “You can come  but don’t say anything, just play along.”

“You ever use one of these?”

“Oh sure”

“Oh then you know that the hydraulic ram needs constant lubrication,and be very careful to not  disturb your gas lines”

“Right, I got it”

“What’s this red button?”

“Never touch the red button!”

“Right, hear that Doozie, don’t touch the button!”

“How much will this cost for a half day?”

“10 bucks”

Couple those rates with the commercials you see on tv of the couple at Loews, asking for help selecting a hammer.

“Ball peen?”

You can hear some pretty funny exchanges at Arjays  these days too.

So it’s probably true  that the  younger homeowner did not enjoy the tutelage  of my generation. That they might not be taking on too many projects that require tool rentals.

I really enjoy projects  and actually did not involve  my children all  that much.

I don’t think they ever mowed the lawn, but I really like  cutting the lawn.

I was a selfish Dad, enjoying all the fun by myself.

Honestly, I barely survived childhood and was making sure they made it through too, with all limbs intact.

My Dad always took me to the hardware store(wooden floors, nails in paper bags) and involved me early on in projects around the house. Once he tied a rope around my waist and sent me out the attic window to paint the gables. It was going great as I  inched my way away from the window of the first gable and up the side with my bucket and brush. He told me to “Stab your brush right up under the  overhang, get full coverage , we don’t want to do this twice”

My Father might have known that I was a bit of a second story man and had been on the ro0f before. I wasn’t sure, it was left unsaid between us. My brother Steve and I shared the  attic space. The linoleum floor was padded with newspapers. You could sit down peel back some linoleum in a worn location and there were the  headlines ” Germans Resume Attack” “Allies Break Through”

Newspapers, you had a morning and evening edition, so it was plentiful and made great padding and if you peeled back the floor.

Great reading.

You wouldn’t have heard anything about the War from my Father despite his being smack in the middle of it, and a Captain, he never spoke of his experiences. I have been going through his WW2 memorabilia since he died, never before seen by any of us. His younger brother was serving too writing for Stars and Stripes and they both were writing letters home. Since both of them were very good writers the exchanges are vivid, my Dad was a very good cartoonist too. I stopped reading them though and have put that all away. He never shared it while living, so I am not going to pore through it anymore.There is a significant  portion unread.

My sister  Cathy had these  paintings made up one year for all of us at Christmas , her 5 siblings.

76 Fair Oaks Park, Needham , MA

So there I am inching my way with a rope around my waist on the left side of that front gable, 10-12 years  old. The old man  playing out the line. I might have scuffed the roof a bit to give him a start.

I got right up under the overhang and stabbed, as instructed, my sopping brush into the shadows .

When the first hornet hit me, I did not stop to assess my situation.

My Dad told the story this way.

“I heard a yell and the  line went slack, then you came running, yes running, headed straight off  the roof for the front lawn, the hornets in hot pursuit.I reached out  and grabbed your belt and with one hand pulled and threw you back into the attic , along with a hundred hornets”

The gables never got  painted, and for years you could see a paint trail on  the roof marking my hasty retreat.

The next time we painted the house Dad rented scaffolding and he used to say “One wants to use the tool, not own it”

He had rented scaffolding on wheels and laid down plywood sheets  that we would move to roll the rig around the house.

He  might have rented one of those self propelled cherry pickers if they had been available.

I guess there is a tool rental business in North Hampton , but c’mon  let’s be real, that’s like going to Timbuktu.

Exeter Rent All, my 25 years of business would not add up to a hill of beans in revenue , but that operation saved me a bundle.

Mike

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