Dad Was a Carpenter: A Father, a Son, and the Blueprints for a Meaningful Life

Overview

On the day before Christmas, Kenny Kemp raised his father's heavy garage door and began going through 40 years of accumulated materials and belongings. It was four months after his father's death from Lou Gehrig's disease, a painful, troubled time for which there seemed to be no answers.

As Kenny sorted and cleaned, a greater understanding of his loss slowly came to him. Remembrances of his father's love, strength, and quiet courage emerged from carefully preserved mayonnaise ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (20) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $5.25   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$5.25
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(201)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2001-05-01 Hardcover New SHIPS FAST FROM NEW YORK.

Ships from: Niagara Falls, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$31.15
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(290)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(181)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

On the day before Christmas, Kenny Kemp raised his father's heavy garage door and began going through 40 years of accumulated materials and belongings. It was four months after his father's death from Lou Gehrig's disease, a painful, troubled time for which there seemed to be no answers.

As Kenny sorted and cleaned, a greater understanding of his loss slowly came to him. Remembrances of his father's love, strength, and quiet courage emerged from carefully preserved mayonnaise jars full of straightened nails; overstuffed, weathered workbench drawers; time-tested tools; and a venerable 30-year-old piece of plywood. Precious relics, each telling in silent eloquence stories about the greatness of a man who had the gift to see something "new and useful inside something old and worn."

Beautifully written, these poignant stories provide a unique perspective on life's fleeting moments and disregarded details. Each chapter begins with one of his father's truisms, which taken together provide the "blueprints for a meaningful life." Dad Was a Carpenter is a remarkable book that asks us to think about all of our relationships in a different way. Fathers and children of all ages everywhere will cherish this gift for years to come.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The author's father wasn't a carpenter; he was a pharmacist. But the rightness of this title transcends any narrow factuality. First published in small press paperback, this portrait of Kenny Kemp's tight-jawed and wise late dad speaks across generations. A nice natural finish.
Children's Literature
After his father's death, Kenny Kemp deals with the loss by going through his father's garage and reminiscing about his life. From the building of a go-cart to an invitation to go to church after Kenny moves out of the house, Kenny's father was a major influence in his life. Each chapter, titled with various hardware tools such as "Tape Measure" and "Compass," is a vignette Kemp's father's life. Although the chapter titles are a clever idea, they do not seem to bear much relation to the chapter content. Other than familial love, there really is not a common thread to tie all the stories together. The fact that the main character is the father and how he affects the author's life, rather than the author as a child, will certainly affect how a child will read this book. While this book would be meaningful to an adult who has lost a parent, there is little in it to attract children. 2001, HarperCollins, Ages 12 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062517630
  • Publisher: Harper San Francisco
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Blueprint



Watch it when you make a deal with
God — be sure to keep your end of the bargain.


I lied. Dad was not really a carpenter. He didn't work in the trades at all. He was a pharmacist — an ordinary man with poor eyesight, gapped teeth, and no hearing in one ear, who struggled through high school, then flight school, then college, where Mom helped him with his trig homework.

By the time we became acquainted, Dad was a pharmacist at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, a San Diego suburb. When we'd visit him at work, there were always lots of interesting toys in his office — little goodies that drug salesmen would hand out (back in the days when the term drug salesmandidn't have such an ominous undertone): pads of notepaper with the name of some new medication emblazoned on them in red italics, a huge two-toned capsule inscribed with the words Chlor-Trimeton,and pencils and rulers and so on, fascinating things for any five-year-old. I still have some of those goodies, and when I visit my mom I always notice that she has drawers full of them — dusty archaeological finds, faded in memory.

Mom's tendency to keep everythinghas always been both a comfort and a consternation to me. She has enough white plastic Cool Whip containers to keep every leftover in southern California fresh. Readers' Digests from the late forties. Butterick dress patterns from the sixties. The memories in Mom's house abound — most of them as warm and tasty as her butterflake rolls.

But there are some memories in that house I don'twant, and as I was driving south on Interstate 5 that day before Christmas, I knew this was a day I'd always remember — for good or bad. I hoped it would be a good memory, but I'm a realist. Today would be hard.

My father was dead.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2001

    More Than I Ever Imagined

    This book caused a great amount of reflection on my own life and upon the association and memories of my own father. Mr. Kemp has an extrodinary way of making you a part of the story by bringing your own feelings and emotions to the forefront. This book allowed my childhood memories and adult experiences with my own father to be recalled and enjoyed. Mr. Kemps way with words and emotions allows you to become more than just a reader, you can become part of what he is feeling and a part of what he has experienced. If the world you live in makes you wonder if one person can truely make a difference for good read this book and find out. I couldn't put it down. Thanks Kenny Kemp it was more than a worth while reading experience.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)