What do you do when you need a tool you don’t happen to have? You may look to buy one or borrow one or just make do with what you have on hand. Or you may get inventive if you can’t find exactly what you need; if it just isn’t made, is no where to be found...you just might make one.
Last week we visited a friend, John Lyddon, who I hadn’t seen or spoken to since the summer of 1979. We met in Sewall Hall, our freshman dorm at University of Colorado. Shortly after he graduated from college in ‘75 he bought and became steward of a gorgeous spread of land south of San Fransisco, overlooking the rolling hills that wonder into the gleaming Pacific Ocean. Since I visited him there in ’79 he has tastefully and beautifully made improvements to the property. He has done so in ways that honor and celebrate the nature of this exquisite site.
Some of the land is covered with stately primary Redwood forests. Some is velveted with swaying grasses. To keep the grassy hills from being taken over by scrubby bushes, many that would be spreading invasives or poison
oak, to be able to mow it a couple of times a year in order to keep the land accessible as well as reduce fire risk, John needed to remove the bushes and protruding rocks on the rolling hills. He had various attachments for his tractor to do the job, but he wasn’t satisfied with how they worked. So he designed the right tools for the job. STAR HILL JAWZ, GRABBING TOOLS, they’re called. He worked with steel fabricators and engineers, making and improving several prototypes until he came up with the optimum design. He patented JAWS and is now manufacturing and marketing it across the land. Now that’s ingenuity.
Check it out:
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