Fixing The Past…Creating The Future

Things I have learner over time…you can not fix the past. You can patch things up with your current actions, apologize and move on down the road. I never found anything positive in rolling around in my regret…we are humans, we screw up, take the responsibility and move on.

So, my dad passed away a few years ago. We were always on great terms…I loved and admired him. He was raised during the Great Depression (born in 1918) and raised for many of his early years in Big Horn, Wyoming…a small town then and now. His family had little. His parents, Ed and Clara Hurzeler, his sister Nathelle and my dad, Jim, did the best they could under difficult circumstances.

Somehow, in those early years, my grand parents bought or bartered for a toy for my dad…his first toy…a cast iron toy coal truck. My dad loved that truck and about wore it out playing with it. Somehow he held onto it for decades…I’m not sure if he took it with him when he left home in his teens…I am quite sure he did not take it to Europe where he was deployed during World War 2…but when he returned from war and he and my mom, Coleen, had me in 1947…he somehow still had his first toy. The story goes that he gave it to me when I was about two. Apparently I then threw it out of the window and broke it into pieces. I know that part of the story well, as dad mentioned it to me several hundred times over the decades.

When dad died and I went through his things, I found a box with that old toy…still in pieces. I also found a photo he took in 1997 of that toy…kind of put back together a bit so he would have a photo of it…that photo is in his blog. Obviously, that broken old toy still meant a lot to him.

What to do with that old toy? It was not worth much all broken up. It would not be worth a fortune even in great shape. But the worth to me was not in how much money it might bring…it was a connection to my dad and a wrong I could partially right. So, I decided to have the toy restored so I could pass it along to my son…who can then pass it along to others in the family in hopes that no future Hurzeler will throw it out a window and break it into pieces. Knowing what I know of my family, that last part is not a certainty. We Hurzeler’s like to throw things…baseballs for example.

The restored toy arrived yesterday. I will put a couple of his personal items in the back of the dump truck and enjoy it for a while in my home. Someday down the road, I will give it to my son, Jim, and advise him not to throw it out any windows. He has three kids…the truck may need to be restored yet again.

I miss my dad and will think about him and smile every time I notice the truck. Glad I finally got around to fixing it.


Don Hurzeler