The way everyone expressed their perspective on their starting spark fascinated me. I mean it meant so much and was undeservedly rewarding to me. Combining that with the last hundred or so emails, notes, messages in the last few days leads me to a place of respectful gratitude. I say this because of the days I spent in the years when people laughed at my endeavour to realign those searching for real woodworking but being unable to find what they were looking for. I mean the Bosch and Dewalt reps. The guy in the blue apron with red writing on it and then too the man pumping screws into holes and plugging them with queerly shaped plugs. My chisels with convex cambers polished like a mirror seemed to mesmerise everyone filling the aisles and so I find myself 20 years later smiling because it was so worth seeing that the efforts are rewarded and the mocking a thing of the past.
It’s hard sometimes to realise that a gallon of petrol is ignited by a tiny spark that drives a carat 90 miles an hour. Just a tiny spark. The spark at shows two decades ago wasn’t easy for me. I worked many weeks into the early hours to get ready for the shows. Handouts and information, display panels, hiring trailers from U-Haul,staying in hotels away from home and such. Not so difficult today. No satnavs then. No roadside stops to book hotels needed in an hour through cheap rooms dot com. No guarantees. Hard work and long days trained me and paved the way to a today I love all the more because of you. The real woodworking campaign began back then and becomes ever more successful day by day, even though we still have a long way to go and much to do to achieve my ambitions.
Even though our numbers are high these days what matters the most is that you are discovering real woodworking and that it is indeed changing thousands of lives on every continent. I didn’t know this would happen setting up alone in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Mesquite, Texas, Denver, Colorado or Reno, Nevada. Now I will be returning to the USA some day, but I am looking over the water into mainland Europe too. Just thinking aloud tonight everyone!
Thanks for your notes and letters and emails. They matter.