It was an ordinary day. That was until I opened my email account and read that one of my friends and fellow shop teachers at Manheim Township High School had died. Clyde Neal was not only a good friend, but he was my lawn mower mechanic. While as teachers at Manheim Township, Clyde and I would do favors for each other. At times I would print and pad tablets or make business cards for him while he would help me in his wood shop make a variety of projects. One year I made two cedar chests, with his help, for my wife and daughter for Christmas gifts. Another year he helped me make Adirondack chairs for my rear deck. Clyde was a true "Handy Man" and could build or repair just about anything whether it was in wood or metal. His shop in a garage next to his house was filled with equipment that any wood or metal worker would love to have. Just this past November 2nd I published a story titled "Clyde's Fabulous Cannon" in which I told of a visit I made to his home to see his new toy, a full sized cannon, that he had made. We sat and talked for about an hour about just about everything. He was never at a loss for stories to tell about his past and his family. He thanked me once more for the box of tablets I had recently padded and trimmed for him which his grandkids would use when they visited with him. Our time together wouldn't have been complete if we hadn't fired the cannon before I left. He struggled on his bad knees to help me get the cannon out of his garage to the driveway. Handed me a headset for ear protection and at that moment I knew this was going to be fabulous. He loaded a blank shell in the cannon's chamber, gave me a big smile and told me to do the honor of pulling the cord and firing the cannon. I'm sure the sot was heard for miles away. Clyde was a good friend who, if you did a favor for him, would have to return that favor. My favors for him were repaid when he worked on my riding mower. He kept my old Craftsman running for 20 years, welding it one time when I ran into a tree and tuning it up quite a few other times. Gonna miss the guy who would do just about anything for you ... and do it well. A true craftsman and innovator. His obituary in the local paper said he was truly a legend in his time. Amen!! Rest In Peace Clyde and take care of all those hand tools and equipment up there in Heaven. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.