Dave Gingery a Genius??
Dave would be the first to tell you he was no genius. Calling someone else a genius is easier than admitting to yourself that you're lazy. Edison got so tired of being called a genius, he made just that point with his "Genius is 2%..." comment.
Dave's so-called genius was the study of what the ol' boys had done decades ago together with lots of perspiration. He would work all day, come home, ram up molds, and pour castings for several hours. And when he wasn't casting, he was machining, fitting, molding, writing, illustrating and a hundred other things. That kind of energy is really amazing in this day and age when most people's idea of exercise is manuvering their distended bellies up to the smorgasboard. Dave's wife of 52 years, pointed out that Dave "was always doing something." If you keep busy building, you can't help but learn something. And you, too, can laugh out loud when the smorgasboard crowd calls you a genius.
Before the machine shop series ever took shape, Dave had "built scads of lathes," of varying degrees of success. It wasn't until he used his homemade aluminum castings that the possibilities of building machine tools dramatically expanded.
Just a few of the characters Dave could call friends. left to right: Bill Hinkle, machinist/engine builder. "Unka" Dave. Jim Lewis, lengendary engine builder. Bob Lambert, guitar picker and someone who appreciates strange beer-drinking geezers. Ben Imbrock, machinist/engine builder.
Dave Gingery was multi-dimensional. He started out working sheet metal, but out of necessity picked up many other skills. After his homemade publishing company allowed him to quit his full time job, he explored other technologies. He had a darkroom in which he processed his own photographs. He brewed his own beer. He had built radios early in life, so it was natural later on to acquire an amateur radio license and restore old radios. At one point I had a small lever operated printing press he coveted. And, of course, late in life he discovered four-string banjo. I wonder how many other hobbies he had that I know nothing about...
What I thought was remarkable about Dave was not only his energy level that put him head and shoulders above the average American, but the fact that he could both build machines and then write about them in a clear, concise way. Few people can write coherently, and of those who do, very few know anything about technology. In other words, some guys can write, and some guys can build. As publishers, Dave and I knew there are extremely few who can do both. Dave could do it all because he chose to do it all. And he'd be the first to tell you that you learn by doing. That's the greatest single lesson Dave Gingery could teach any of us.
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