The Chainsaw and the Sledgehammer
DescriptionA Christmas Story
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Tyler Soames, Sr.Tyler Soames, at age fifty-six, had reached the pinnacle of his life. He had a great deal of money, his two children were grown and gone, and he lived in a very large Tudor home in an exclusive Philadelphia suburb, complete with two maids, a gardener, and a live-in cook. Tyler Soames was very wealthy indeed, and he was still very good at making money. Tyler was a bright and intelligent man, who grew up in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. His family was not well to do, but was comfortable. Tyler attended public high school, graduated with honors, and went on to Princeton. At Princeton, he studied engineering and business and graduated Summa Cum Laude. At age twenty-two, he moved back to the Philadelphia area and found a job with, of all things, a brokerage house that specialized in commodities and futures. Then he set out to become rich. At twenty-four, he married his sweetheart. Danielle was twenty-two, and a pretty brunette whom Tyler had been in love with since his final year in high school. By the time Tyler was twenty-six, they had produced their first child, a boy that they named Tyler Soames, Jr. At twenty-nine, Tyler, Sr., experienced two major events in his life. The first was the birth of his second child, a daughter. Tyler had a sister named Christine who had married a man named William. William was very, very wealthy. He was a multi-millionaire several times over. Christine would have a very comfortable life. Tyler named the child Christine, after his sister. His sister was godmother to the child. The second event was that Tyler made his first million. Tyler was extremely hard working, often putting in sixty-, seventy-, and eighty hour weeks. By age thirty-four, he had made his second million. As he continued to work hard, the money accumulated and the family lodgings improved. His daughter Christine was the apple of his eye. He doted on her, spoiled her, and made her laugh and giggle. Between Christine and his wife, he felt complete. He loved both women deeply. As his wife aged, his love deepened. Whenever he looked at Danielle, he always saw the girl he had first fallen in love with in high school. Tyler, Sr. took great joy in watching Christine grow into a beautiful and intelligent young woman. As she grew, he often found himself watching her as she played, read, or listened to music. He was especially proud of her graduation from Swarthmore and becoming a teacher. When she married a doctor, at age twenty-four, he gave her a lavish wedding. He was ecstatic when she and her husband presented him with his first grandchild, a boy. Herein lies the problem. Tyler Soames, Sr., cherished the women in his life. He also cherished his job, and continued to accumulate money at an almost obscene rate. Between the long work hours and the time spent with Danielle and Christine, Tyler, Jr. was pushed aside. Tyler, Sr. was always very formal with his son. The child was always addressed as "young man" or "Tyler." "Son" or "Ty" were never used. The boy always referred to his father as "Father," and never "Daddy" or "Dad." Tyler, Jr. was required to address Danielle as ""Mother."" The only times her called her ""Mom"" or ""Mommy"" was when his Father was not present. Tyler, Sr. was building a very, very strong wall between he and his son. He justified this by saying he was ""toughening up the boy, preparing him for the harsh world outside."" In reality, Tyler, Jr. would suppress all feelings of any sort for his father, and share his emotions with his mother and sister. The final break between Father and Son happened over Tyler, Jr.'s choice of college and major. He rejected both his Father's choice of colleges, selecting Villanova, and his Father's choice of majors. He acquired an A.B. from Villanova, Summa Cum Laude, in literature and music as opposed to Engineering or Business Administration. The day after his graduation, his Father set him up with some money. From that day forward, the two men never spoke to each other and saw each other only on family occasions. Tyler Soames, Sr., had built a very thick wall between he and his son.