RUSTY DRAPER | Contributing columnist

When I entered the Draper family 75 years ago, I came out of the birthing canal expecting some great and wonderful things that would accompany me through the pages of life.

Talent and skill describe related properties, but they’re not exactly the same. Talent comes naturally, while skill is something you develop through learning.

My dear ole dad was just one of those overall handymen. He loved to “tinker.” He told me on many occasions that a man was never fully dressed unless he had a jackknife in his pocket. When I was a kid, the understanding of that statement eluded me, and it still does today.

The Draper clan produced a long list of very capable individuals, both male and female. They all had the same gift; they were good with their hands.

My great grandmother was a whittler. She whittled out some amazing carvings, and I have been the recipient of a couple of those treasures.

All of dad’s brothers also had the same knack with their hands, and had the know-how to make or fix anything.

My father was one of six children with one sibling being a girl, Aunt Glady. Oh, how I loved that lady. When my mother couldn’t hammer any sense into me she hoped that Aunt Glady could.

She could knit, sew, quilt, crochet and let me not forget her baking.

To this point I’ve provided a very abbreviated description of those in my blood line. Now, here’s my beef.

Picture in your mind a French guillotine. As soon as that razor sharp blade is released, “swoosh” it whistles downward and severs the head from the body in a split second. This gory visual explains well the separation of the Draper genes that I missed out on.

You probably have guessed by now, that I’m not a whittler. I don’t carry a Jack Knife in my pocket, and I don’t “tinker.”

I’m sure there are probably those who have little regard to my sensitive nature, and who would rightfully categorize me as useless. Well, let me tell you this. If it wasn’t for my good looks, my masculine physique — and of course my modesty — my wife probably would never have considered me as her husband. LOL.

If our toaster goes on the blink, guess who fixes it. My wife Pat. She repairs anything that goes on the hummer. Computer, phone, electric kettle … you name it.

Here’s one that really puts me to shame. Recently I was thinking that my windshield washer anti-freeze must be getting low and I decided it needed attention. Just take a quick guess who did the work? Ah-uh, you guessed correctly.

Allow me to boast just a little.

I knew that there’s a tiny lever just below the steering wheel that would release the hood of my car. Car-makers put that little lever just to tease the owner. As you undoubtedly know, that little levers only job is to open the hood — (about a half inch).

We have owned this great car for more than 11 years. It has very little mileage and runs well. (No, it’s not for sale.)

I have never been able to open our car hood. But I know who can, and so do you.

I’m thinking of putting a posting on Facebook and jobbing her out. Strangely enough, Pat finds nothing humorous about this.

OK, I missed out on the Draper gene pool, but Good Golly Miss Molly, you should hear me play the Kazoo or juice harp.