Reflecting on (now) 70 years of life, I realize that I have been witness to the building of many things. Over a period of several years as a child, I helped my grandfather build houses for 2,600 mating pairs of pigeon’s. Later, I got to feed them and to dig out the manure from underneath the houses. Some years back I revisited the mountain top and found the rows of houses still there. My grandparents and the birds were long gone.
At the age of twelve I also helped to build a new car bridge over Soquel creek. The previous two bridges had been washed out. It too was still standing and was in constant use.
I helped to carry the 4 by 8 cross beams walking on the narrow laminated beams that spanned the creek at over 30 feet high. My grandfather was afraid of heights so my Dad and I laid out the cross beams. “Don’t fall” my Dad said, as he held the other end up. My grandfather wanted my dad to build a cable car up the side of the mountain. The cable car we built was still there when I visited.
Back home we a built tree house, go Cart, boat and boat trailer, brick fences, barbecue pit, two legged car port, rebuilt the kitchens (in two houses), and many other home improvement projects.
Today, I’ve taken on the biggest project of my life – the building of my new home in the country. I’m relying on all the building skills taught me by My Father. I hope that it will stand at least a century.
I learned then that to build something is one thing, but building things that last is much more meaningful and important.
Looking at the legacies in my life I can’t help but find a connection with my dentistry practice. I want the work I do with my patients to last for many, many years.