ALTONA, Ind. — In an attempt to bridge a gap that has persisted between them in recent years, local father Rafael de Santos opened up to his son with his thoughts on the new Black & Decker drill he recently purchased from Home Depot.
The conversation, an emotional discussion of the pros and cons of the Black & Decker LDX120C 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver, began when Rafael’s son Fernando noticed a loose board jutting up from their porch floor. Rafael, segueing from a description of the habits of oak wood to bend when wet and come loose from their initial placement, stated candidly, “But with the right kind of tool, we can get the board back into place without damaging the finish. Come on, let’s go get my new Black & Decker.”
The level of emotional honesty was shocking to Fernando. “Dad had never said anything like that to me before,” he explained. “It immediately felt like we were beginning a new chapter in our relationship. And when we went into the garage, I mean, I was speechless.”
Directing his son’s attention to the garage workbench, the 54-year-old dad launched into a series of thoughtful and intimate musings on the differences between the various drills hanging on hooks mounted on the wall.
“Now, the workhorse there is the DeWalt, you get a lot of torque outta that baby,” said Rafael, admitting to a feeling he has carried around in himself for over a decade. “But the thing is, when you’re dealing with oaken wood, you want something that will get the job done but not strip the material you’re working with. You get what I’m saying?” Fernando could only nod to prevent himself from crying at the intensity of his father’s straightforwardness.
“So what we’re gonna do here is use the Black & Decker, an overall gentler machine, has a couple of built-in systems to keep the gear mechanism from moving if it feels too much pressure,” Rafael continued. “It’ll prevent it from damaging the material it’s working on is what I’m trying to say. I picked this little guy up the other week during my Sunday trip to Home Depot. Did I need it? Well, we got a loose, Varathane dark-walnut gel stain oak floorboard out there that needs to be screwed down, so you tell me.”
Since the conversation, the bond between the two has been stronger than ever. “It was amazing to have that kind of talk with him. I knew there was something going on in him lately, and I’m glad that he could open up to me and talk about it like that,” said Fernando.
Asked if he thought the emotional connection would continue Fernando grinned and said, “Yeah. He told me we had to clean the gutters next weekend and detailed the pros and cons of buying a power washer for the home. I think we’re gonna be good.”
Quinn Formel hopes to be the kind of dad that can only open up when talking about his prized show parrots.