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Old 10-08-2011, 11:39 AM   #1
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Default Wood Story I

This has nothing to do with this group or everything. I am not sure which.


Some thirty years ago I was at my favorite lumberyard getting some wood for a project. I met gentlemen in his 50s looking at the cherry. He asked me several times if I would move some boards for him and, of course, I gladly did so. He then asked me if I would carry a certain piece to the back and cut it into 2 two foot pieces. I then told him no and before he could anger I explained I didn’t work there and was not allowed to use the saw. He had assumed I worked there and apologized for taking my time. I thought it odd that he was getting wood in 2-foot chucks and assumed he was a beginner, with no saw, expecting to get his wood cut exactly to size. I started to explain to him they would not cut the wood to exacting dimensions. It was here where he interrupted me to tell his story.

He was a retired machinist. Having broken his back, he was forced to take early retirement and was now limited to lifting no more than 5 pounds. His hobby had been woodworking and he was upset that would no longer be able to build furniture. The other machinists he worked with got together and made him a complete set of miniature woodworking tools. He now had a small table saw, miniature planer, and other tools designed to be small but functional. He was now making high end miniature dollhouse furniture. He told me that the four board feet of cherry he was buying would last him two months. He has an 18 month waiting list for his funrture and did cusom doll furniture for avid collectors.

When I was getting ready to leave I saw him paying for his purchase, the four little boards stacked on the counter. I volunteered to help him carry them out to his car. He politely thanked me but said he was more than able to load his own lumber. I then watched him slowly walk out to his truck four times, each time carrying just one of his boards. His spirit was inspiring. When circumstances left him no longer able to do what he loved, he found something else he could love doing. He still did it with pride and skill.

After thirty years I now find my skills have greatly increased but I am also finding the limitations of age keeping me from working as fast as I would like, lifting as much as I would like, or seeing the amount of detail that I would like. When limitations of age frustrate me, I look back and remember an old guy proudly loading his own stock, two feet at a time. I too will adapt. I will create. It’s the human spirit.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
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That is a wonderful story. Thanks for the inspiration to keep going.
"Still Montana Mike"

There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”
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Old 10-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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what a inspiring story dave,
not doing much
and busy doing it

having fun making sawdust.

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Old 10-08-2011, 12:42 PM   #4
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Great story. I know the feelings as my Uncle Arthur (arthritis) has come to live with me and my speed and agility is not what it use to be. We do what we can and work around our demons just not as fast.

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Old 10-08-2011, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thanks Dave...
That was very inspiring...
My Landlord and great old friend of mine inspires me in a similar way. He's beaten cancer twice, and to see how he never quits, (you should see his yard. It's just magnificent), has taught me to keep going no matter what. I have a rather vicious and painful form of Tourette's syndrome, and I've learned that even a small victory is still a victory...

Thanks again Dave, GREAT story....!!!!!!

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Old 10-08-2011, 01:22 PM   #6
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Wonderful story Dave. Thanks for sharing it with us. I know at my age, I am slowed quite a bit, but, I have extra time now, being retired. I do some things very slowly, that I used to do in a short time. I will think about that gentleman when I have any type of work to do. Thanks again.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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Great story. Thanks for sharing.

"...vegetarian is an Indian word meaning lousy hunter." Steve Smith (aka Red Green)
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Yes Dave, it so true for so many of us that "got older" Our minds are sharp but the parts of our bodies do not work the same as they did in the past. I also used to build furniture, but would not think of lifting those heavy boards again. Perhaps that is the reason I use the scroll and band saw much more than I use the table saw. I am just thankful I am able to do something...so many folks can't even do that!
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hawaiilad View Post
I am just thankful I am able to do something...
Amen Larry....
That I can bring smiles to folks anyway is truely a blessing....

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Dave, that was an inspiring story and something we can all expect to encounter as we age. Thank you for sharing that great story.

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