The Tinkerer

Mr Ateneo Dioscoro, the son of poor sharecroppers, was class valedictorian of his 1967 high school graduating class. A math and science whiz kid, he never took notes during lectures, much to the chagrin of his home room teacher. Fact is, he didn’t carry a notebook. His pad paper was a small gum-shoe spring-bound notepad that he carried in his hip pocket. Never studying for tests but achieving high grades, young Dioscoro just seemed to coast.

He found classroom activities boring. He wanted to work with his hands. His favorite after school activity was vocational shop, carpentry, and machine shop. He loved the touch and feel of woodworking tools, mechanical tools, and various tools used in the welding business. To him using a pair of long-nose pliers didn’t just involve twisting fine wires or pinching tiny sheets, or retrieving stray screws in tight places. No. To Dioscoro it was not using the tool. It was also a time for discovery, a time to scrutinize and admire such a fine invention of a tool. Concepts fascinated Ateneo to no end.

you-have-an-idea-for-an-invention-now-what-1Before he graduated high school he confided to his favorite shop teacher, Fr Van Pelt he was ruminating on a revolutionary idea that could enhance how wrenches work. Fr Leonilov Van Pelt, Dioscoro’s teacher was a Belgian missionary priest, who flew planes early in his career and worked as a metallurgist for a European conglomerate before entering the seminary to be ordained into the priesthood. Fr Leonilov was an accomplished engineer. He took care of the mission’s water system and the emergency back up generators. He and Dioscoro were like two peas in the same pod. They would discuss and talk on end about tools, machinery, and the general manufacturing processes.

“So what’s this idea of yours?” asked Fr Leonilov. “Can you talk about it? Anything interesting?”

Dioscoro beamed. “Well, it’s just a concept in my head mostly at this time. I can see the entire system though,” he replied.

“It seems like you have a good grasp of your idea. Whatever you do you must seek professional help,” said Fr Leonilov.

“What sort of help Father?” queried Dioscoro. “Are you talking about legal help, or engineering help, or what kind of help?”

“Professional help – like, graphic artists, prototype builders, testers to test your product, to name a few. And then you must protect your invention by filing for a patent. The best way is to turn it over to licensing and promotion professionals. Here, why don’t you check out this group. They seem to have their act together:

“These folks are the best at what they do,” Fr Van Pelt continued. “They’ll take your project from start to invention and patenting. This much I can say. Do not wait too long to get your ideas down on paper. But you must hide it from prying eyes. Work feverishly and complete your concept presentation.”

Dioscoro became quiet. His eyes lit up. He grinned widely. Fr Van Pelt had an idea of what Dioscoro was thinking. But then again no, he didn’t have any idea. Because you see, Dioscoro had been busily working on his idea for the past year. He was already beyond just mere conceptualizing and mentally massaging his invention.

“Father Van Pelt?” asked Dioscoro. “If I can assemble my stuff – you know, sketches, dimensions, projections, drawings, calculations, mock-up and end product prototype … do you think I can come over and show them to you?”

“How soon are we talking about?” asked Fr Van Pelt.

“How about now?” And Dioscoro was off and running to his house.