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Kenny Kemp

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Dad Was A Carpenter
by Kenny Kemp   

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Books by Kenny Kemp
· Lightland
· Dad Was A Carpenter
· The Welcoming Door
· I Hated Heaven
                >> View all

Category: 

Memoir

Publisher:  Alta Films & Press ISBN-10:  1892442205 Type: 
Pages: 

150

Copyright:  Jun 1 1999
Non-Fiction

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Alta Films & Press

Grand Prize winner in the National Self-Published Book Awards sponsored by Writer's Digest! When Kenny Kemp raised the door to his father's garage six months after his dad's death, he didn't expect to find gold. But what he did find there, buried in the overstuffed workbench drawers, secreted in the worn tool collection, and waiting patiently in a 30-year-old piece of green plywood, was worth more to him than any treasure he could have imagined. A son comes to know of the greatness of his father, a great man who didn't know he was.

A memoir along the lines of "Tuesdays With Morrie." This book touches the heart and reaches the soul. A must for every father and every son. Excerpt
I lied—Dad was not really a carpenter. He didn’t work in the trades at all. He was a pharmacist—an ordinary man with poor eyesight, gapped teeth, and no hearing in one ear; who struggled through high school, then flight school, then college, where Mom helped him with his trig homework. By the time I became acquainted with him, he was a pharmacist at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, a San Diego suburb. When we’d visit him at work, there were always lots of interesting toys in his office—little goodies that drug salesmen would hand out (back in the days when the term “drug salesman” didn’t have such an ominous undertone): pads of note paper with the name of some new medication emblazoned on them in red italics, a huge two-toned capsule inscribed with the words “Chlor-Trimeton,” and pencils and rulers and so on, fascinating things for any five- year-old. I still have some of those goodies, and when I visit my mom, I see she still has drawers full of them, dusty archeological finds, faded in memory. Mom’s tendency to keep everything has always been both a comfort and a consternation to me. She has enough white plastic Cool Whip containers to keep every leftover in southern California fresh. Readers’ Digests from the late ’40s. Butterick dress patterns from the ’60s. The memories in Mom’s house abound—most of them as warm and tasty as her butterflake rolls. But there are some memories in that house I don’t want, and as I was driving south on Interstate 5 that day before Christmas, I knew this was a day I’d always remember—for good or bad. I hoped it would be a good memory, but I’m a realist. Today would be hard. My father was dead.

Professional Reviews

Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Awards: Grand Prize
"This story of a man's discovery of the beauty and integrity of his father's life offers an intimate look at parenting, values, and most broadly, facing the loss of a loved one. Kemps soft voice and gentl tone, coupled with crisp, smart cover and interior design make this book a winner on many different levels."

Kirk Strickland, PBS producer
"Reading this book is akin to finding a childhood treasure years after it had been lost and forgotten--it brings an unexpected joy."

Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host
"Moving and intimated, 'Dad Was A Carpenter' makes a powerful case for the true importance of life's small moments and passing details."


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Reader Reviews for "Dad Was A Carpenter"

Reviewed by Ian Riley 7/30/2002
Found this book to be absolutely fascinating!! Mr. Kemp certainly knows how to tell his story!!
Reviewed by Nedra Kmack 9/25/2001
Wonderful book! I liked it better than "Tuesdays with Morrie" because it delves into the spiritual nature of impending death in such an honest and hopeful way. Beautifully written and powerfully realized. Lovely and inspiring.

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