Mike has a way about fixing any shortcomings of tools, equipment or mechanical things, and if he doesn’t have the proper piece of equipment, he can make it. As he says it, this is his “ingenuity for inadequacies.”
In that department, consider the piano dolly Mike made when we moved from Wichita Falls to the Panhandle. It wasn’t just a piano dolly. With awe, we called it the Super Dolly. It had to be strong enough to handle my antique baby grand piano, so Mike’s brain churned figuring out how to make something that could take the weight of the instrument.
He started with 15 2-by-4s, cut them to 5-foot lengths, then screwed them together, layered sideways. He cut more 2-by-4s to fit the width of the dolly and put two on one end and one on the other end. For extra strength and protection, he sandwiched the 2-by-4s between two sections of 3/4-inch plywood cut to fit over the unit of boards. Nothing was going to break this thing.
Mike has a thing for rollers — his eyes get big like an excited little kid when we’re around them in the home improvement stores. He would think of things to make, just to be able to use the rollers. He got to indulge his fantasies with a set of industrial-strength rollers that he fastened to the bottom sheet of plywood. He attached two big hooks to two corners for rope so it could be pulled. That was one heavy-duty dolly and it was ready for action.
It only took one test drive of Super Dolly to see that it could barely be moved by itself, much less with a piano on it. It might have weighed more than my piano.
After taking off the precious rollers, Super Dolly ended up out in the back yard being a platform for our old dog, Dogita Rita. She would lay in the sun or sit and survey her backyard domain, all from the raised vantage point of the dolly. It stayed there for three years. When I finally got tired of mowing and trimming around it, we decided it was time for the dismantling.
Mike documented the event on video. It didn’t take as long to tear down as it did to make, as is the case with most things monumental. But in our hearts we don’t remember the piece by piece dismemberment. We remember the Dolly that was Super, and laugh.