David E. Davis on December 22, 2012 at 12:19 am
Since I was young God gifted me with a talent for figuring how to fix things with whatever was at hand. But I didn’t have time to watch TV in college since I was studying engineering and heavily involved in a service fraternity, Scouts, FCA, and campus safety. One semester my friends started telling me about a character on TV that “did what I did” so I finally caught an episode at a friend’s apartment. I could see the resemblances and liked what I saw — even guessed at a few of the solutions depicted! But it wasn’t until the DVDs came out years later that I could see the entire series and notice other similarities, like my work with troubled youth in Brazil.
Back in the days before LCD projectors, campus organizations would often have an overhead projector of their own since you could never rely on a lecture hall to have one available. A campus ministry I attended had one that had been broken and repaired several times and now it was too fractured for another layer of epoxy and duct tape. It seemed a shame to buy a new one when all the electrical and optical parts still worked, so I asked to “baby sit” it for a week.
I was between grad school and the mission field and had more time than money to invest, so I prayed for a repair under $15 dollars. While wandering aisles of a local hardware store for ideas, a cheap ice chest caught my eye: a box-like form with internal width and depth about equal to the original projector. It would offer a stiff and protective enclosure for the optics, was rugged to withstand being dropped or even kicked, and the plastic could be cut, drilled, vented, and screwed with my Swiss Army Knife. Convenient carrying handles were already included and the extra space at one end could be used for storing the head, extension cord, and even weekly lost-and-found Bibles.
When I carried the rejuvenated projector back on campus, some frat boys asked: “What’s in the cooler?” and I responded: “Come find out — I guarantee it’ll get you lit!” The projector worked well and continued to be used for quite some time at Clemson University RUF meetings. But guess what nick-name they insisted in calling me after that!