The first thing I remember building together was a horse barn. I think it was 1967 and I was 8 years old. I’m sure I wasn’t much help, but I do remember him explaining the process and the importance of making sure everything was level and square. There were a lot more builds after that first one. Miles of fence line, another barn and even some bird houses.

Last Fall, we did it one more time. We built a 14’ x 24’ addition to my four car garage up on our farm. In a few months, he will turn 80. Although his body is betraying him as Rheumatoid Arthritis is destroying his joints, (he has had both knees replaced and his ankles are swollen to the size of grapefruits), he never complains. But I know the pain is constant. His body may be failing him, but his will is as strong as steel.

I use the lessons you taught me every day as I help Clearfield’s customers build their networks.

Thanks, Dad, for teaching me to build things the right way. Have a plan, follow it, make sure everything is level and square. But most important, don’t complain.

By Jim Pilgrim