This is the patent my grandfather was awarded in 1964 for designing a medicine cabinet with a hidden rear cabinet. It was not his only invention, though it was the only one for which he applied for a patent. Reading the application, we find that it took three years from the date of filing to the date of award, which says something about Mark's persistence and patience as well as his cleverness. To whatever extent that I can be said to see projects through to the end and done properly, I inherited it from him. Given that I still can't tie a bowline, I'm not sure I did.
In a different era, Mark might have become a serial inventor, tinkerer and entrepreneur. He would have enjoyed doing that, and may have found either spectacular success or repeated failure. His era, though, was growing up in the depression. After serving in the Navy during World War II and marrying the love of his life, he chose instead to spend 37 years as a mechanic for Eastern Airlines, a job that gave him migraine headaches, but also financial security for himself and his family.
I hope my children are lucky enough to inherit his good sense, his patience, his sense of loyalty and responsibility, and his belief that jobs worth doing are worth doing right. Most of all, I hope they will not have to choose between following their dreams and providing for their family.