Thursday, June 6, 2019
Luke Tucker, The Mentor
Early interesting Cars:
But for today:
Did you have a mentor? Of course growing up in the 40-50s I never even heard the word, Mentor. I remember dad & mom speaking of people ‘They looked up to.’ Meaning they respected them.
So if I understand the term Mentor, Luke Tucker, would have been my mentor, my best friend at the time was his son, Vondale.
Luke was short on formal education, as were many men born around the turn of the century. Born on a farm and later worked in a textile mill in building maintenance.
He learned to love carpentry, and over the years built homes for his family, then became a general contractor building houses and small businesses.
He hired me and his son for my first ‘paid job’. We dug a septic tank and installed ‘Celotex’ in a house Luke remodeled for his family.
Luke was such a nice man, some people took advantage of his easy going nature. Most of his jobs were on a handshake. I only witnessed it once when he required an agreement to be in writing. I KNEW the man had taken Luke already for a few thousand dollars of additions that were not in the agreement. I could not believe it, but I was proud of that humble man when he told the man in a very stern business manner, “Mr. Thomas, we will put this in writing.”
I learned even the humblest of men can find an end of patience. Luke built solid buildings. I learned a lot from him. When I thought I was a preacher and built a church addition, he drove 70 miles to give advice and help me put the roof framing in place.
He had other enterprises, his wife ‘Lecta’ ran the other. But building was always his forte’.
I felt privileged that he asked me to build an addition for him after he was retired. The only stipulation was I must hire his granddaughter as a carpenter. That was not a problem but a pleasure. Wendy was a good worker and the daughter of my friend Vondale. She was a joy to work with, a terrific person.
In my life I have admired many people, but Luke Tucker was special, the gentle giant in a smaller frame. He provided well for his family as they grew. He was always a hands on contractor, I got that from him. Measuring tapes were not around but his 6’ folding rule seemed to ‘jump’ out when time for a measurement.