This is the article I submitted for my woodworking guild’s newsletter. It was written with very short notice, but it carries a message I believe in very much, so I thought I’d share it here, as well.
If I look back into my past – ten, fifteen, even twenty years – it isn’t difficult for me to pick out some of the once-in-a-life-time opportunities I’d passed up or missed out on. This was usually because I just didn’t recognize them for what they were, though there were a few times when I’d simply dawdled too long and missed the chance.
I like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes, so when the opportunity to attend the Frank Klausz workshop came my way, I jumped on it. As quickly as I could, I put my deposit down to reserve a spot and then I started setting a little money aside every week for a few weeks until I had enough to cover the rest of the costs.
One week before the workshop, I got a phone call from Bill Hobson, asking me if I wanted to join him and a few others at Bristol’s for dinner with Mr. Klausz. I knew this was another one of those opportunities, but… I had to consult with Mrs. Sincox first. I know Bristol’s is a pretty expensive restaurant, and my wife, Dana, was also going out of town the next morning, so we’d planned on spending a relaxing evening together before her trip. This was not a decision I could make on my own.
When I approached my wife, I think she could see the conflict in my eyes – wife or woodworking? So I told her about the phone call and asked her what she thought. She doesn’t always think she knows me as well as she should, but instances like this prove she does. Her only question for me was, “Is this one of those once-in-a-life-time things?”
Needless to say, dinner with Frank was fantastic! It gave me a great opportunity to visit with a Master Craftsman on a social level before learning from him on a professional level. It is a weekend I will remember as a major milestone in my woodworking experiences.
(I do apologize for not going into any detail on the dinner or workshop. In the course of writing this article, I found out very quickly that it will take much more than a page in a newsletter to cover the entire weekend. For some more in-depth writings on the Frank Klausz weekend, see my blogs online at http://lumberjocks.com/jocks/RedHeadedMerganser/blog/series/22.)
-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com