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John Ratzenberger was one of the first people I met on my first day in show business. For those of you under, say, 40, he played Cliff Clavin, the talkative fantasist letter carrier on Cheers, which was my first job as a professional writer. (For those of you who would like to contribute to the Rob Long Residual Fund, feel free to buy the entire series here.) He was a lovely and smart guy back then. He still is. Here is his latest column for Time, in which he expounds on a subject he’s deeply passionate about:
The whole process of knowing how to make things, fix things and build things, fascinated me to the point that, by the time I was 14 years old, I had decided that I wanted to learn how to build a house and everything in it. In fact, I built the first couch I ever owned for my first real apartment. It may not have won any beauty contests, but it sure was comfortable. I ultimately saw my childhood goal of building a house come to fruition, many times over, while working as a house-framer before I landed the role of “Cliff” on Cheers.
Read the whole thing, but here’s the kicker: