My Dad comes for a visit.

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Blog entry by EPJartisan posted 10-28-2010 05:34 PM 5688 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tuesday, I got a call from my father, back in Wisconsin, that he was coming down the next day to hangout in my shop for the day. Which, though we get to visit and go on trips together, there has only been one other time just he and I spent time in “my” space. Kinda weird, but very cool. My father is getting older, and I love him very much, we have a great relationship full of pride and respect. As his son, most of my life I saw him as the one who always knew stuff and knew how to make anything. I wanted to know stuff and make anything, so my Father has had great impact in my life. For a man who supported me in my education and career… AND all my weirdness… and helped me when I needed it … even came to another city to get my young, drunk, violent butt from a police station. I respect him.

(My father and I discussing making wands for the Wiccan Community)

Today, I realized that now not only do I get to teach him, but prove to him what I have become. Getting to work in my huge open studio vs his rather dark basement shop was a great experience for us both. He helped me rough out stock for 3 maple wine boxes. A few times he was “Dad knows this”, but my experience somehow over shadowed his tips and helps. An odd feeling there. My father still knows a whole lot, and I hope to glean every bit of knowledge from his brain pan… but today he was all about me, my studio, and my current projects. He made several comments about how I know more about fine woodworking than he does, that he is great at “roughing out stuff.” I reminded him that he gave me the foundation of “roughing” it out so I could achieve what I am today. My father made rifles and guns from scratch. He built homes and structures, roofing, and siding. He knows forests and survival techniques, he understands science and mythology. He is a machinist and and engineer and an artisan himself. Everything I know, all my skills, started with him. But he is proud I worked my way through 8 years of art school. Proud that I intrinsically know art and design. Proud that we can talk about love… and physics. Proud that I can know and make what ever I want.

I got to show him details about using the joiner and bandsaw. He helped me with a old craftsmen tool and motor I am setting up as a shaper. I got to show him fine nuances of wood grain and tear out. We cut apart, carved and discussed wood pieces I have been drying or saving for years. Discussed moisture content vs wood burning… I showed him my sharpening system and habits. We chatted all day, went to lunch, and when it came time to leave the studio, I could tell he found it hard to go back to wisconsin. Time just flew by.

I wish that life had not lead me to another city, but I would not be where I am had I not moved away from home. My only sadness is that, my father is no longer as able to come and work with me often. He wants me to be all that I can, and understand how this world freaks me out with it’s cruelty and anger (especially at us gay folks) and why I hide in my studio most of the time. But he called when he got home around 9:30 pm to tell me it was one of the best days he has had in years and the he is even more proud of me. This morning I feel good.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

13 comments so far

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 2807 days

#1 posted 10-28-2010 05:44 PM

It’s nice to be loved. Now print this letter and send it off in the mail to your dad. It will make his day all over again. :)

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#2 posted 10-28-2010 05:58 PM

I love stories like this I have three sons and always wished we had more time together. I”m proud of all three of my son’s and understand how I felt even when my son’s have different routes to go in their lives then I did. That’s what it’s all about is to support your children so they can find their own way . A great story and a fantastic day. Thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4187 days

#3 posted 10-28-2010 06:14 PM

Great story. Sounds a lot like my relationship with my dad.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3045 days

#4 posted 10-28-2010 06:25 PM

What a great read…. I am proud for you and your Dad…. I would give anything to have a day like that with my Dad…..

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3681 days

#5 posted 10-28-2010 06:36 PM

yes, great story, I hope that not only he reads this, but that someplace an angry, hurting, LGBT person can read this and sees that things can get better.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3272 days

#6 posted 10-28-2010 07:05 PM

this is a wonderful story that you shared with us, i wish all fathers and and all of there children could have these type of experiences…its very evident that you had a great day with your dad and he with you…family…to me that is what its all about…....thanks for sharing it with us.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View swirt's profile


2659 posts in 2940 days

#7 posted 10-28-2010 07:20 PM

Great story. Fathers and sons often have rough times and only later in life do they get ironed out. Glad things smoothed out for you and your dad.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3058 days

#8 posted 10-28-2010 07:53 PM

What a wonderful story.
You can not imagine how I smile on your behalf when reading it, it’s so important we get this feeling of respect. Your father are also lucky to have a son like you, who admire him so much.
If I had had a father like that I would have spend so much more time in search of what I wanted, and not to prove for some one who would never be able to give.
It’s a story of sunshine, and I feel all brown from reding it.
Yes you have to print it and send it to him, even if he read it on the web.
Best thoughts – wish you a wonderful life with him from now also,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3215 days

#9 posted 10-28-2010 08:06 PM

What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing that wonderful day with your father with us. Really brought a smile to my face. Print it out and give it to him, it’s a great idea.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3084 days

#10 posted 10-28-2010 08:25 PM

as Rivergirl say print this and make a handwritten were you tell about this site
and how big it is then I´m sure he will understand how much you love/respect him


View Mario's profile


171 posts in 3365 days

#11 posted 10-28-2010 10:05 PM

Awesome story, you are one very lucky person

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 3904 days

#12 posted 10-29-2010 02:40 AM

How I wish my dad is still alive. Just like your Dad, he can make all the things he needed. I got the woodworking gene from him. Unlike me, he is a hand tool woodworker. Isn’t it wonderful to talk shop with a craftsman of another generation. It is a pity that he passed away before I got the bug. Lucky you.


-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3399 days

#13 posted 10-29-2010 07:09 AM

You don’t get much better times then that spent with Dad, or When you get older, your kids in the shop.

Congrats on a wonderful father and in appreciating what you have.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

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