When I was a sophomore in high school, I had a pretty serious challenge with Latin. Although our teacher said I had ‘Caesar’s diction’ I couldn’t quite get through the verbs (and I wondered WHY does anybody torture himself thusly?). At the end of the first semester, I wasn’t doing well enough to progress on so they moved me into a woodworking class.
And I became a dedicated woodworker. Long story short, I managed to work my way through the classes in woodworking and wound up spending every afternoon of my senior year ‘assisting’ Mr. Tennant (the shop teacher) as one of his trusted seniors.
I did go on to college, majoring in journalism with an English minor. How I wound up working at the Pentagon is another story in itself. Throughout my career there was always a deep desire to get back into woodworking. And, 9/11 (they missed me by 150 feet) was enough to make my wife ‘decide’ for me that we would be better off hiding in the woods…in a woodshop.
On an almost whim, I thought I might like to try to jury for the Southern Highland Craft Guild. (My wife and I are both members…she does the money and some of the finishing). We were invited to join on our first try (almost unheard of), and now have an extended Guild Family stretching over the entire Southern Appalachian region.
At our first show in Asheville, NC, I met James McPhail. (I had studied this guy years ago when I learned how to turn…he’s in the text books). It was kind of like a guitar player meeting Eric Clapton. Better yet, the mentor loved my work!
As many know, woodworking is not necessarily the ticket to financial reward—so a ‘real’ job was necessary. And now, that will take me to Southern California before winter’s end.
I’m wondering if there’s a golden state guild or something like that found in Asheville?
-- Art is long, life short ...