The humor of my buddy Vern Williams

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Daily Grist; The older I get, the more I love my old truck.  J D Rhynes

My buddy Vern Williams posessed one of the greatest sense of humor I’ve ever known in my life, also probably one of the most understated ever. The following is an example of his sense of humor.

Vern and I always exchanged birthday presents and usually the present had a practical use to it, especially if it was a quart of good whiskey. About every two or three months we would celebrate the coming event of our birth anniversary with a good bottle of whiskey, usually Irish or bourbon, just to “get in the mood”as Vern was want to say. The year was about 1975 or 76 as I remember, when the story took place. A friend of mine gave me a piece of heavy plate glass about 24 x 24” in size it about 3/8 of an inch thick and I intended to use it for a flat  surface to lap precision pieces of metal on. To do this operation, one would place a sheet of very fine grit wet/dry sandpaper on the glass, pour a small amount of water on it for lubrication, and rub the piece of metal on the sandpaper until the middle was the desired thickness or dimension. A thick heavy piece of glass is ideal for this operation, but the piece I had was way too big and I needed a piece about 12 x 12. No problems as I had a glass cutter and had watched a friend of mine who was a professional glass cutter and it did not look that difficult. So I proceeded to clamp a straight edge on the piece of glass and score it with the glass cutting tool on both sides just to be safe. Then  I clamped it between two pieces of 2 x 4 on my work bench, put on a heavy pair of welding gloves just in case,just like my friend the glass cutter did, took hold the glass and gave a good shove down. Nothing happened. So I said to myself mentally; I didn’t realize glass was that strong and I have to push down harder, so that is what I did. Nothing again.  I said to myself, self you’re being too gentle with this and with that, I gave a Herculean push down and there was this loud resounding BAM !!!that glass literally exploded into small 1/2 inch pieces and all I had was a handful in each hand ! I mean that glass was all over my shop in an 8 foot radius circle !  Up until that time I had never heard of TEMPERED glass !  I found out that you can cut tempered glass with a diamond saw or grind it, but you cannot use a glass cutter to cut it. So, here is the rest of the story.

That little incident took place about January of that year and naturally I told my buddy Vern about it, and come March and my birthday on the 21st he showed up at my house that evening with a bottle of Irish whiskey, and a small package for my birthday present. After toasting the event of my birthday, and I opened the small gift package, what do you think I found? A brand-new glass cutter ! Vern told me he figured the old one was wore out and I needed a new one by now. I still have that glass cutter (  never used it ) and every time I look at it I laughed my butt off. I sure miss my buddy Vern.

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