Hobbies, carvings, and "Three up"

... the preacher, the rabbi and the priest ...

from Don Norris

The preacher, the rabbi and the priest.

Today, I wrote a whole new article, melding religious philosophy with carving walking sticks and funny little wooden people.

The piece was good philosophy, but then, in my eighth decade, I failed to save what I wrote. It happens more often these days.

I wrote about all those carvings I had done during a span of time, measured in a couple of years, when my main focus was sitting on the living room couch, carving. Chips and pieces went all over the rug and the furniture, but in a brief period of physical activity, I managed to carve about thirty new wooden characters.

Ceramic angels ...

They ranged from Indians to cosmonauts, including priests, little people, tall people, cowboys -- but mostly ancient religious folk, dressed in robes, bare-footed, carrying either a walking stick or a cross. Anyway, when I got tired of carving, I had a large box full of strange little people, painted with acrylics left over from my days as an active (but excellent)

Today, under the bed, is a large box of little people that I have created. Some I have sent to my cousin down to Pensacola, and she puts them on the mantel, along with her vases, ceramics and religious artifacts. Santa in his obesity, in his red delivery suit, stands next to ceramic angels.

Funny, but the hobby of cutting funny  little wooden people originated from becoming a boy scout. Yes, I was an Eagle, and I learned much in Scouting that gave me an edge in grown-up life. It went on my resume when I applied to college, and later when I joined the Marines -- to go to officers' training.

So sitting on the couch with a white beard, carving little people, canes and walking sticks isn't so hard to imagine. Yes, I vacuumed up the mess, not daily, but when Lorry got irritated. She's a doll.

All about costs ...

I figure it took about a week of harvesting the right green-growing wood from the forest, to de-bark it, to make a design based on that stick's personality -- and then to make something really beautiful and useful of what had been a stick in the woods. A week's work.

What's that worth? At, say, $50,000 salary, that would put a pricetag on my new walking stick of about one thousand dollars. But what with a college education, suppose I shot for a hundred grand a year? That makes this hand-crafted stick price go up to two grand. Can you afford it?

All this is wishful thinking, for no one would pay one thousand bucks for a walking stick, no matter how pretty, how unique, how well it is finished ...

Same with the carved little people. They will be passed along, free, to my kids, who may (or may not) keep them as a memory of the Old Man. That thought is probably worth a week's work. And yes, every once in a while, I'll take a photo of one of my creations, and feature it right here, in the Melrose Mirror.

Won't that be unique?!

September 5, 2014

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