The Apprentice's Trail

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1977, August 1st.

That is when it officially began.

That is when I started work in a small job shop

in Independence Virginia.

I was 19.
Apprentice Nov. 1977 Razor Ridge Workshop - Independence, VA
Nov.  1977

But, if you were to track it out,

back to when it really began,

one would wind up back to when I was a boy.

Battleships, shields, and swords

were what was in the wood,

way back when,

in a backyard on Briarcliff Place
Apprentice Oct. 1964 2701 Briarcliff Place - Charlotte, NC
Oct.  1964

The Garage in the Backyard The Garage

I would sit in the garage, on it's smooth concrete floor, bending nail after nail
into some old piece of pine with a hammer, whose head looked like a mushroom,
& cut out piecies of one thing or another with a set of handleless saw blades,
whose handle was either lost or ignored.

It was a highschool sweetheart

who lulled me back into the wood

during Christmas of 1976

with the wish of a rocking chair.

On Christmas Eve, in that same garage of

bent nails & handleless saw blades,

I toiled away like an elf on a mission

determined to deliver a chair

on Christmas morning.
Susan's Rocker Susan's Rocker - Christmas   1976

I remember us An unwitting apprentice - Nov. 1962

I remember now the boy sitting on a cool concrete floor making a shield for the
neighborhood acorn fights, and the young man working by the light of a dingy
lamp or two on a cold December night. The young girl's wish brought me unwittingly
to a higher level of woodworking that felt comfortable - familiar . . .

. . . and carried me

into an affair with

sighting the wood

that has long out lasted

the affair with the girl

who made the wish
Apprentice The Apprentice - Spring   1997

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