Once upon a time, Marina had a son-in-law named Lars. Lars was born and raised in Sweden and later came to this country as an adult, whereupon he married Marina’s daughter. He was a jovial character, an amateur musician, an occasional drunk, and a master craftsman. He started a construction company in the San Francisco Bay area and became so well known for the quality of his work that he soon enjoyed a long list of happy customers with new customers waiting in line.

While Lars enjoyed his well-earned reputation as a craftsman, he had a few failings that would occasionally get in the way of his success. He hired the best workers, including designers, plumbers, finish carpenters, painters, and the rest, who did excellent work. The problem he kept running into was more on the business administration side. He overpaid the workers, went overboard with employee benefits, and spent more time singing and playing guitar than he did managing the business. When it finally caught up with him some years later, he found himself in debt up to his wine-soaked eyeballs and unable to recover financially.

The next step was to borrow from the bank against work that he had not yet completed, borrowed on credit cards that seemed to have no limits, collected on prepaid contracts upon which he had no way of delivering, and stiffing all his loyal employees for past wages. At that point, he loaded up a shipping container with loot, packed his bags in the middle of the night, and caught a plane to Sweden, never to be seen again.

Of the few things he left behind – other than debts of course – were these antique tools . They appear to have been made in Sweden, probably in the late 19th or early 20th Century.

By: Jim
Published: July 2022
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