Some Harkening…

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Blog entry by Eric Vossbrink posted 04-03-2008 07:50 PM 967 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was reading from the Arrogant New Englander about his recent car trouble, and the subsequent way of venting his frustration. It reminded me of a time in my life when I really didn’t know where I was going, or how I would get there…till I actually arrived.

Back in 1974 my parents bought a house that had many fruit trees on it. Most of which were avocado, but there were apple, plums, oranges, grapefruits, and I could go on. If my memory serves me correctly, there was very little sunlight that came in thru the canopy.

One of the first things my dad did was start removing trees. He would usually fell the tree leaving the stump. My job as the kid was to dig the hole. I loved digging. Friends and I had underground forts next to big stumps all over the yard. Eventually we had to remove the stumps, and fill in the holes. All this digging was to prepare me for a bigger hole for an above ground pool that we pot in…but that is for another post.

Back to chopping wood. After the tree was bucked into manageable lengths, it was my job to stack the wood. I remember a time when I spent the better part of a day stacking the wood when my dad came out and told me that the stack was not right, and I had to re stack it.

I remember the words out of my mouth: “When am I ever going to have to know how to stack wood?”

Little did I know. One of my first jobs at guitar factory was stickering wood. This is at job of making a course of wood, lining up thin sticks perpendicular to the coarse and repeating. Each sticker had to be right over the top of the one below it.

Another job there was selecting lumber for production. I probably stacked over 500,000 board feet of lumber in my travels around the world.

At the time, neither my father nor I had any idea what was in store for me.

This was really the only time that I can think back to that was relevant, a little coincidental, and funny to boot. You never know what your life experience is setting you up to do.

My advice is to do everything well. Advice I should probably take.


9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3851 days

#1 posted 04-03-2008 10:59 PM


Thanks for the personal story. I am sure that many of us could relate to this in some fashion. You offer some sound advice for us all.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3903 days

#2 posted 04-03-2008 11:20 PM

Working in a guitar factory is (for me) the stuff of dreams.

View Grumpy's profile


24001 posts in 3880 days

#3 posted 04-04-2008 12:20 AM

Remember the song, “do what you do do well boys, do what you do do well”. Nice bit of history Eric.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Eric Vossbrink's profile

Eric Vossbrink

70 posts in 3779 days

#4 posted 04-04-2008 12:42 AM

Working in a guitar factory is just that…working. If you build guitars, that is something entirely different.


View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3796 days

#5 posted 04-04-2008 02:52 AM

Question about ‘stickering wood’? I have never done it, but I heard years ago that the stickering has to be done with the same wood that is being stack or there will be deep marks across the boards. Is that right?

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Eric Vossbrink's profile

Eric Vossbrink

70 posts in 3779 days

#6 posted 04-04-2008 03:02 AM

Not necessarily…We used 1/2 MDF cut into 1/2 strips. it was a long, arduous, messy process. Some wood like maple will get sticker stain. it’s caused by bacteria, moisture and time. sometimes it’s on the surface, or can got all the way through.

the last time I was at the factory, they had switched to plastic stix. they are made from recycled soda bottles. another good material for doing small, not so wide stacks is Masonite or HDF

Hope this helps


View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4017 days

#7 posted 04-04-2008 08:09 AM

Who would want to work at all?

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View David LaBolle's profile

David LaBolle

216 posts in 2700 days

#8 posted 04-15-2011 06:00 AM

What a great place to work!!!

I love your closing sentence, which I’ll paraphrase here again:

If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

; )

-- When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for

View Benboy's profile


105 posts in 2290 days

#9 posted 01-23-2014 02:40 PM

This is a great story. I am constantly amazed at the random happenings that lead us to where we are and the value of every experience in making us who we are.

-- If I can't make it, I probably don't need it.

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