Shingled Roof

by Gay Spencer 2. April 2012 21:12
Shingled Roof

I am my father's daughter. And yes, that was often said as, "Daddy's Girl." He saw me as more like him than my sisters were like him. Nobody reads the acknowledgements of my dissertation, but there I said that yes, my education was pretty much done for him... done because that is what made him proud and what he believed would be the best for me.

My father's trade as a young man was finish carpentry, and then he became a homebuilder. I remember asking him once how many of the houses he had built in the west Texas town where I was born, and he said, "about a third." He knew everybody, and had built many of their houses.

After we moved to Dallas, he built large subdivisions in the years that Dallas was growing rapidly. He built houses as fast as they could put them together in assembly line fashion.

One of his most amazing skills was that he could lay out an entire subdivision and figure out how many feet of lumber (of all dimensions), how many sheets of dry wall, how many nails, and yes, how many shingles it would take to build hundreds of houses. Even more important (to him), he knew how many days it would take to build each house. To figure that out, he made huge paper grids of information for his office walls. Then he was one of the first to learn to program macros in early spreadsheets (Lotus 1-2-3), which was the roots of my own programming skill.

So, when I look at the roof, I know he would have looked at it and automatically calculated how many shingles it would have taken to build it. Being his girl is one reason why I look at the roof and take a picture of it.

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