Duct Tape and Daddy O’Grape

My first guest post, I’m so excited! This was written by my beautiful stepmother, Honeybee. It cracked me up so much that I asked her if I could post it here, and thankfully she agreed. I just added the pictures and captions. It’s about my father, Daddy O’Grape. You know, the 50 Grapes Guy. Honeybee doesn’t have a blog, but she is a spectacular counselor. She is a loving, compassionate person, and funny to boot! So if you need any counseling, check out her website!

This is so spot-on about my father. I grew up with him building airplanes in the garage. Not model airplanes, real airplanes! So without further adieu…

My husband fixes things with duck tape.  That’s when epoxy or bondo won’t work.  He cleans our laundry stains with citrus hand-cleaner and, where other women chill when they hear, “Hey honey, watch this!” I shiver to the bone each time I hear, “Aw, it’s gonna be EASY!”  This usually means another project that should take two days that takes two months to two years.

My husband slices and dices, but not with the latest kitchen gadget.  He comes into the house dripping blood and doesn’t know it or care.  Whether home from the hangar or workshop, I can always expect new bumps and bruises, scrapes, and burns.  One time he let the propeller of an airplane get away from him and had to have TWELVE stitches in his head!  I could see his skull!  Doesn’t faze him a darn bit.  If it were me I’d be in tears – and I get so upset when he gets hurt, but when I fuss he just tells me it’s “nothing.”

Speaking of bleeding wounds, I (Suzy) bought him this shirt because he actually DID run with scissors once when he was a child, and ended up with many, many stitches in his wee scalp.

Speaking of bleeding wounds, I (Suzy) bought him this shirt because he actually DID run with scissors once when he was a child, and ended up with many, many stitches in his wee scalp. Obviously things haven't changed much.

 Our house is a plethora of strange things.  He really is a good craftsman, but who else do you know who has a ceiling fan put together from an old ceiling fan, paint, spit, and a brand new lighting fixture that used to be attached to our ceiling?  I have to admit, the “Frankenstein” ceiling fan looks good – but who woulda thought?

We use various poisons here.  If I complain that I can’t budge a paint stain or there is something stuck to the floor, here comes some can of solvent.  I mean, the things that can thwart fetal development!  Stuff that, if you breathe it, will take 10 years off your life!  And he’s really non-chalant and assures me he’s been using it for years with no negative results.  Yeah – right!  Who else do you know that cleans their laundry with citrus hand-cleaner?

My husband sprays our house for bugs.  Too cheap to let the Orkin man do it.  He mows our grass.  Can’t pay the neighborhood teens to do it.  If it can’t be done by one of us, in his mind it doesn’t need to be done.  This includes accounting and legal work.  We run three businesses and my husband has yet to pay one thin dime to a CPA, and he writes all his own business contracts.  Sure hope we don’t get sued or audited anytime soon!

Now I haven’t said anything about tie-wraps.  We don’t have a box of tie-wraps, or a plastic container of tie-wraps.  We have THOUSANDS of tie-wraps.  Probably about a 55 gallon drum full.  Anything that can’t be duck-taped or bondoed can always be tie-wrapped.  That or ratchet-strapped.  I believe he could build a house out of tie-wraps and ratchet-straps alone!

And he'd wear this hat while building the tie-wrap/ratchet-strap house! Because he's weird that way.

And he'd wear this hat while building the tie-wrap/ratchet-strap house! Because he really is THAT cool. Or dorky.

Do-It-Yourself Boy is a wonder at anything that is broken.  He rescues old, dented refrigerators and broken, rusted-out roto-tillers from trash piles in the neighborhood.  In fact, the rustier and more broken-down something is, the greater challenge it is to him to fix it.  And you’re not going to believe this one.  He won’t take the grand-kids to Six Flags but joys in hooking up our garden cart to the back of his riding lawn tractor and driving them all around the neighborhood.  Yes, the neighbors actually DO witness this.  I hide in the house.

Mr. Engineer can make something out of nothing.  His favorite movie scene is in Apollo 13 when the guys need to make an air-scrubber to remove the carbon dioxide out of the capsule and all they have is a box-full of tinker-toys and some old gym socks.  That stuff turns him on!  (Hence, our creative bedroom fan, as aforementioned.)

Well, while living with Mr. Bluejeans With The Torn T-Shirt can be a challenge, it is also rewarding.  I mean…he actually FIXES things.  Puts up shelves.   Saws up fallen trees and then tastefully repairs the fence.  He’s a good man and quite entertaining.  If we live through the solvent and insecticide fumes without major damage I guess we’ll be alright.  But if you think my prince is romantic, well, just ask me about his marriage proposal.  In the interest of your heart health, I’ll save that for another story.  (At least that one didn’t involve duck tape!)

Handsome AND handy!

Handsome AND handy!

Thanks so much for sharing, Honeybee! I love you!! (Although I could have done without that bit about the ceiling fan turning him on. Ick!) And I love you too, Daddy O! And Honeybee, you’d better get started on the marriage proposal story! I don’t even know it.



  1. Kim Jones
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Daddy-O is one of my favorite people and from my experience everything that Honeybee said is true! I particularly enjoy his sense of humor and his cooking ain’t bad either! Loretta and I have stayed in their home on occassion and they in ours, and they are both fun and comfortable to be around. Not something I can say about too many people.


    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Yep, they’re good people, for sure!!

  2. Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    So sweet! Its nice to have a handy man around, I’m sure he can teach the grad kids a few tricks or five. 🙂

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 30, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Oh sure! He teaches them stuff like how to cross their eyes, tongue tricks, etc. You know, the important stuff. Also he takes them flying in his airplanes, and they LOVE that!

  3. Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    That is such a sweet thing to write about someone, of course you call her honeybee! Maybe she should’ve given my husband a few tips on writing vows 😉

    The coon-hat reminds me of the goofy things my brother wore doing chores… namely my granddad’s green/red plaid golfer pants. I know there’s a picture somewhere…

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted July 31, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Oh yes, we do need to see pictures of that!

      I actually have no idea how he proposed. It was probably something like, “So, wanna get married?” in the middle of driving to the grocery store or something. 😉

  4. Laura Ashley
    Posted September 7, 2009 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    OMG– that’s hilarious! Perhaps he’s the reason my stereo is ghetto-rigged with duct tape and tin foil. And, he is DEFINITELY the king of eyeball and tongue tricks! I amaze coworkers and friends with my amazing facial contortion skills all the time : )

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 8, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      You are SO right! I’ve never met anyone else who could whistle through their eyeballs. Only our dad. Can you do lots of tongue tricks? I can. I can’t wiggle my ears or my scalp like he can.

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