A couple of weeks ago a wiry kid walked into my shop that I hadn’t seen before, or at least I didn’t recognize. He is obviously a quiet guy but has some heavy news to deliver to me. Mustering up the nerve to say something he tells me that his grandfather had just passed. His grandfather was a man I knew as Mr. Amos. Cancer finally beat a man that in my eyes was unbeatable.
Mr. Amos was a rare breed nowadays, he was a man’s man if there ever was such a thing. He wasn’t too tall. He wasn’t very bulky in stature. He wasn’t a loud spoken individual. What Mr. Amos had was an undeniable air of confidence and toughness about himself. He walked and spoke with authority that only comes from years of experience in this ride of life we’re on. He believed that he could do anything that he set out to do and proved it over and over again. The man had a guitar that needed a fret job and he just did it. This is something that scares the crap out of most people. I’m not suggesting that you go out and tear your guitar to pieces trying to fix things that are out of your realm of expertise. What I am telling you is that Mr. Amos’ knowledge of mechanics and woodworking made a fret job a simple task to him.
The reason I am telling you guys about Mr. Amos is because it is a frightening thing to think that our society is no longer making new Mr. Amos’s. When we lost him we didn’t just lose a man, we lost an ideal. It seems that we have gotten so used to throwing money at a problem that we have gotten away from the idea of getting dirty and doing it ourselves. We have abandoned the idea of MAN as our grandfathers would have defined it.
Admittedly I am still young and dumb in comparison to Mr. Amos. I will just give you a few of my thoughts on how his type are created and how maybe we can get back to it. Some of my good friends are old enough to be my Dad. I admire these people and what they know and can do. I make it a point to try and absorb as much of their knowledge as possible. Try and always be aware that the people you talk to can often offer a lot of insight into many problems you will come across.
Get yourself a toolbox and learn to use it. If the sink is leaking, fix it. If your car needs brake pads, replace them. With the internet you can figure out how to do so many things. I literally learned how to work on an old Triumph Tiger (motorcycle) by watching videos on the internet. Don’t be afraid of messing up, because you probably will. Also, don’t be afraid to walk away and clear your head. I solve a lot of problems while I’m lying in bed just thinking. When you finally figure out how to fix something and it actually works it is one of the best feelings I have felt. This just instills so much confidence, and if you didn’t know, women seem to be attracted to confident guys. Whatever that’s worth to you.
My little boy is 19 months old now. There is a song I wrote a few days after he was born that has a line in it that says “l’ll be the man that all others are based.” This is a very heavy load to carry for me. Obviously being able to do things around the house is only part of this equation. I feel that it is my job to be the man that I want Jack to become. We have to raise more Mr. Amos’s. The world needs men.