A handy device, the comealong, has been in my family’s toolboxes and car trunks for years. While primarily a tool for construction, it’s versatile nature can be utilized for many different things. When I was quite young, my grandfather taught me how to both use and respect this device, dealing with it’s helpful aspects but also understanding the proper use. Using both his comealong and a portable crane, I watched as this frail appearing, old man removed a full size engine from his pick up when a new one needed to be installed. Don’t get me wrong, my grandfather was tough as nails and a very hands on kind of man. But by using devices such as these, he didn’t need to be strong as steel as well.
Throughout the years of spending time with my grandfather, I watched as this tool could almost be an extension of his very will. When he needed a tree to fall a certain way as it was being cut, he grabbed the comealong. When our neighbor’s truck went off the side of road and his wheels could produce no traction, he grabbed the comealong. Even with hunting, when he needed to pull a Bull Elk into the bed of his pickup, he used the comealong.
I’m now teaching my teenage son how to use it safely. And as time goes on, I hope he passes on this tradition. Just recently, I found myself repeating the words I’d heard my grandfather speak so many years before. “Grab the comelaong; just look in the trunk”.