... the ground began to tremble, and so did I...
Hobbies are the result of curiosity, inclination, and instinct.
Because of an accident, I was on crutches for a few weeks when I was eight years old and, when nosing around in my father's tool chest, I asked how a strange-looking chisel would be used.
He took time off from making small boxes that were used to hold the plants that he sold in the springtime.
He demonstrated how to hold the chisel to create designs on plaques, or jewelry boxes, etc.
When my injury was healed, the gardens were ready to take care of my spare time in the afternoons and, with a paper route in the morning before school, I led a full life.
Much later in life my curiosity was piqued to try my hand at ceramics as a sideline to fill in idle time. My mother's maiden name was Edith Smith Potter, and that may have had something to do with my interest.
I took some lessons from a ceramics teacher, and then I decided to do it my way.
I found a throw-away auto in a junk yard and, for a few dollars, I bought a rear wheel, a tire, housing and axle
I split the tire and filled it with cement, and I had the best potter's wheel of all.
I also built five ovens over a period of time. The best and last one was four feet tall, three feet wide, and eighteen inches deep, and it was fired by two oil burners. This last kiln was built in my garage, and, just in the event of trouble, I had a half ton of sand right handy, but it was never needed.
When this kiln was coming up to heat, the ground began to tremble, and so did I, but there were never any accidents and very few unsatisfactory products.
One interesting incident as a result of that hobby took place when the electric company sent an inspector in between two regular inspections.
I was cutting the grass when he was leaving, and I asked him if there was something wrong.
He said, "Something is wrong, but we don't know what it is. You have four electric kilns in the basement, a two-burner oil monster in the garage, a hundred-gallon hot water heater, two bathrooms, and a dish washer, and you have one of the lowest bills in town. We know that you have bypassed us, but we can't figure out how you did it." He turned and walked away.
When we moved from that house to a mobile home, my next hobby was getting an oil burner license, and I serviced many of the homes in the park.
Now I am living in elderly housing, and my hobby is the
August 3, 2001