Books have been written about the many uses for duct tape, but I have never been all that impressed with tape. Sure, I use the stuff, but real ingenuity comes from taking something intended for one purpose and using it for an altogether different challenge. Enter the wire coat hanger. Now used almost exclusively by dry cleaners, since the introduction of the boring, dumbed-down, molded plastic hanger, the wire coat hanger was an invitation for invention. It was a rite of passage for families in the 70’s to bend one of them into a hook for unlocking a car door when the keys got locked inside. My dad, always resourceful, took pride in his wire coat hanger prowess. Sure, there were the simpler uses as a TV antenna or grabber for out-of-reach items, but then there were the works of genius and legend–a tail pipe hanger on a car, a snake for unplugging a drain, tent stakes, and a replacement clutch cable for a Ford Fiesta that lasted for years. I waxed nostalgic just the other day as my two-year-old son watched me unbend a wire coat hanger for our first father/son repair project. Another tradition for another generation.