BECAUSE NO ONE wanted them around, my people were do-it-yourselfers. Pop made his own machine shop lathe, his own underwater camera housing, his own five-speed transmission. But he wasn’t alone. Decades before today’s 3-D bakers and candlestick makers, America’s postwar dads were doing it for themselves.
Parsimony still binds us. The walls of my house conceal miles of uninspected wiring. I built my own potter’s wheel and my own stereo speakers. I once DIYed 400 square feet of torch-applied bitumen roofing and caught the house on fire. I’m not paying a damn roofer! I remember saying as the flames died down.