As the son of a tradesman, I spent many years growing up frequenting hardware stores. The hardware store felt like my second home. I knew all the staff, I knew where to find materials in every aisle, and I knew exactly where to hide when my dad said it was time to go home. You’d think I’d be bored of always having to go to the hardware store, but it was the complete opposite. I had so much fun in that place that I never wanted to leave. I made the hardware store Sandringham my playground. And let’s be real, what kid wants to leave the playground?
One of my favourite parts of going to the hardware store was seeing my dad in action. I was always so impressed with him, and looked up to him in everything he did. I used to play in the aisles of the hardware store and pretend that I was my dad picking out the materials he needed for his next job. If you had asked me, I absolutely nailed my imitation of him and I was a spitting image of my dad. Who knows if that was actually true, I was just a kid with a big imagination, after all.
I used to think that dad took me to the hardware store so that I could help carry the timber supplies. Cheltenham stores had a lot of materials, so I always assumed he just needed my help because I was a strong boy, as he would always tell me. It turns out that he just wanted to spend more time with me, because he missed me each day when he was working. When I found that out a couple of years ago, I couldn’t help but tear up for a while after.
Because of my dad, I too became a tradesman. Whilst he was a carpenter, I am an electrician, but the principles are the same. I’ll be taking my son or daughter to the hardware store too when they are able to one day.