I awoke this morning to a dreary, cold, very foggy day.
I don’t mind fog, my morning commute to work is only about 40 feet behind the house, and a little fog doesn’t slow me down much walking out there. Actually, it is mornings like this that I’m reminded how much I have to be thankful for. Back in the days when I had to commute by car 87 miles to Wichita, a foggy morning like this one was a real burden, even treacherous.
I always write on the calendar when we have a heavy fog morning. Why?
A lady told me one time that an old Indian method of predicting the weather was to count 90 days ahead from a heavy fog morning, and it would either rain heavy, or snow heavy, about that time. I’ve counted it many times since she told me that, and sure enough, it works. At least most of the time.
Pain in the Neck:
My neck has been stiff and sore today, a lingering result of a motorcycle accident injury back in my Harley Riding days about 15 years ago. I Didn’t feel it was a problem at the time of the accident, and so I didn’t file any lawsuits at that time. Mornings with a sore neck like this though, I wonder if I did the right thing.
I just hate lawsuits, but it was the other guy’s fault, and I was innocent. Still, he was 86 years old, and just misjudged the time he had to turn in front of me as I approached on my motorcycle with my wife riding behind me on the seat.
I felt sorry for him, he was really upset about what he had caused. I seemed to be alright except for scrapes, a sore neck, and a messed up Full Dresser Harley I’d only had for two weeks. The Wife had a scrape on her shin, but was ok. I never have been back to Springdale, AR after that “bad morning.” That was the last time the Wife rode behind me on a motorcycle, can’t blame her.
When I got my Harley back out of the shop 4 months later, I did enroll in a Motorcycle Safety Driving Course. I recommend them. The Wife also took the course, and like I said earlier, never rode behind me again. She picked out her new “wheels” before the ink was dry on her learner’s permit.
We later chose to sell the two Harleys, the Wife’s Yamaha Maxim, my old “72 Vette”, and my new 4×4 pickup to start a woodworking business. We felt that getting out of debt was a prerequisite to starting such a speculative business. I was right about that, and glad I don’t have the payments anymore. If I still had the debt, this business wouldn’t have lasted this long.
Sometimes I miss the old ‘74 FLH Shovel-Head I had restored, but not the “Vette.”
Back to Today:
But, other than the sore neck this morning, it all looked like a normal day today in paradise.
I went out to the shop after breakfast and a shower, turned on the lights, and prepared for another day of woodworking.
My plan today was to finish up a Hatmaker’s Tool for a guy in London similar to a Hinge-Shackle Curling Iron, that will be used to simulate the brim curl in a Homburg style Fedora Hat. Working away just minding my own business.
Then, about mid-morning, the sun came out, the fog left, and it is a beautiful day.
I was thinking how nice it is to be at home working in the shop, admiring the beautiful day in the Flint Hills of Kansas, and in walks the wife.
She usually doesn’t come out to the shop unless there’s bad news, or great news. For just “good news” she waits until I come to the house. Rarely does she call me to the phone, only if it is a paying customer that needs to speak with me.
This time, it was “Bad News.”
The Bad News:
The Wife told me that the art gallery in Wichita called to say that one of my custom Bowie Knives was stolen from the art gallery in Wichita, Gallery XII.
Seems it was the only thing in the gallery that was stolen, and that it probably happened during their “Final Friday” Open House where about 1000 people came through the gallery the last Friday night in August.
I decided not to drive down to Wichita for the Open House this past month, trying to cut back on the miles I drive to save some money. I guess I should have been there that night.
This is the 5th item I’ve had stolen from me in the years I’ve done craft work.
It doesn’t seem to get any easier each time.
Actually, it seems to be getting harder, from an emotional standpoint.
Two Walking Canes “walked” out of a store in Wichita last year, and before that it was two powder horns that a trader never would pay me for after he sold them at a Gun and Knife show.
Another art gallery in Texas finally sent me the money they owed me two years after selling one of my Ceremonial Pipes, so that “incident” I don’t consider “stealing” anymore.
I try to be careful with my stuff.
Sometimes I think I’m too careful. I just like to trust people, as they most often do the same with me.
The stores/galleries that I let show my stuff also try to be careful.
I guess in some way it is a compliment to have something I’ve made stolen.
But, then again, this craft work is how I put food on the table for a family of Four, and so it just hurts.
Bummed out in Kansas today, with a pain in the neck,
-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan - www.decoustudio.com