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Woodcarver or Writer

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  • Woodcarver or Writer


    My Frien's, in spite of encouragement ~ it has been a while since I posted one of my "Epistles from Paul". Why post one now?

    My loquaciousness is a fact of my existence. I am a woodcarver ~ not a writer. I saw an app called grammerly, "your personal editor".

    Help is on the way!

    I downloaded the program and used it to "improve" a segment of an epistle I wrote about 20 years ago. ****! This is amazing! All kind of suggestions for improvement. Several paragraphs revised and I decided to review the changes.

    Well written. Looks good. Very cogent. Then, "Who the hell wrote this? I **** sure didn't." So my Frien's ~ too much help. I am sticking to my story telling ways. I am not going to let good writing or the actual unfolding of an event get in the way of a good story.

    Here is my version:

    I once told a Frien' that I would retire when it wasn't fun anymore. This happened in 1995 when the Park Service underwent a weird infrastructure revision and offered a generous “buy out” to us old fa__, uhhh.... folks who would consider getting out of the way. I decided to cooperate. Told them to send the money to Whooping Hollow in Arkansas. They did ~ well, they sent half of it. The IRS took the other half. Then Arkansas took half of that half. I intended to use the money to build a shop that could double as a carving studio. My building got cut in half. I was disappointed until I remembered the old adage, half an apple is better than none. Then I remembered the “rest of the story”, ~ unless you take a bite and see half of a worm! I thought, “this is one half-as___...uhhh, out of control situation.” I needed help.

    So, I went down to the building store. Told them, “I need a building”.

    “We got um! Come with lot’s of standards (as in no extra cost).

    Whatcha got in mind?”

    “Something with walls.”

    “Well you’re in luck, that’s standard equipment with our buildings”
    .
    “What else?” he asked.

    “Roof.”

    “Standard.”

    “Doors.”

    “Standard.”.

    Now this half of the apple was looking pretty **** good.

    “Windows.”

    Sure nuff the half-worm appeared, with what the suspense purveyors like to refer to as "the dramatic pause……!"

    “Well, we can do that. How many do you want?”

    Even not being a “rocket scientist”, I noticed that the words “standard equipment” were definitely missing.

    “How much?”

    “70 dollars.”


    “For how many?”

    “Each.”

    It was my turn for the dramatic pause. I decided to dodge this bullet for a while and try and get back to the standard equipment thingy, “Floor?”.

    This time he tried to soften the blow, shortened the dramatic pause, “Mother Nature supplies a standard one. You might consider an upgrade.”

    Yep, It did not take much consideration to decide I might want to upgrade ~ however, my building size would have to downgrade. It got a concrete floor. Unfortunately there is some natural law that states, “A dropped woodcarving tool will always hit a concrete floor with the cutting edge leading; requiring some adjustment to said tool.” I purchased an outdoor type carpet for that area.

    Anyway, I got my shop and learned lots of lessons. The primary being if you want a woodcarving shop, build that. Don’t build one that can double as a garage, equipment shed, auto repair shop, storage building, hide out ~ uhhh, wait a minute. A carving shop can serve some dual purpose.

    It did not take many years before the demand for alternative uses, and such, consumed a majority of the building. Gradually, I moved my woodcarving operation out of there and back in the house. With the unanswered question did I really need a carving shop?

    I thought, “ yes”.

    Diana thought, “ yes”.

    Finally returning this epistle to the chromosomes, How, you should ask, did such a total meeting of the male and female minds occur?

    The defining moment came when Diana walked into my carving room (sun porch, attached to the house) and looked around. I was contentedly carving red, aromatic cedar.

    “You need to improve your aim!” she said.

    Being “Y” chromosome blessed, I had heard this before. But, not while carving! And this was usually followed by, “…and put the seat down when you’re finished.”

    Confusion! Clarification needed!

    “What!”? Now, My Frien's, this simple word, coming from a male, addressed to a female, is exclamation, interrogatory, imperative and an attempt to warp the space/time continuum in order to assess the situation and mount the necessary defense.

    X saying, “Look around!” did not part the clouds in my mind. In fact, this particular phraseology triggers an autonomic response. Check the floor ~ no clothes laying there. Stuff is stacked everywhere ~ but, this is my carving area Ha! My defense! But, better buy more time.

    “What?” Well hell, it worked the first time, got me this far!

    “Notice anything about the room?”

    Not the floor ~ checked that, haven’t carved on the moose antler for a while, no stink. The room actually smelled wonderful ~this seemed to be a clue. I was using an air filter (works real good when you ”improve your aim” and direct the stream of dust into it). The room did look nice (everything was a warm shade of red). Uh Oh! Over there is a TV, beside it is a stereo, beside it is a computer and beside it is a “blue flame” (open fire) propane heater . How much cedar dust does it take to fry the motherboard? Wow, how much of any kind of dust for an explosion?

    So, it was back to the building store. Told him, “I need another building.”

    “We still got um, whacha got in mind?”

    Decided to skip dramatic pauses and standard equipment. Told him what I wanted. Got the price…. Sticker Shock! Managed to quit gasping and get my voice back in time to convince him to put down the phone. That I was not having a heart attack. I did not need emergency medical assistance.

    “Here a while back” I got a 20x30 for a lot less than that! I gasped.

    The concept of me dropping dead on his office floor was gone. Dramatic pause, followed by, “How long ago would that have been?” Had he been talking to Diana? She usually ended up answering a question like this with, "That would be ­­­­­­ X___ years!"

    My friens, I got my building ~ downsized to 14x28 but for one-purpose you don’t need much room. OK, two purposes ~ a hideout/sanctuary/doghouse and Diana softened the blow of “no extras” by saying, “I’ll help you make it into a carving studio.”

    And she did. And we did. And our friends did. Everybody helped. But wait (as they say on TV), First, I had to put in the windows. Never done that before, listened to the primeval cry of the Y Chromosome , “Instructions, we don’t need no stinking instructions!” Cut the hole and framed the window. Then realized that I should have read at least as far as the “beyond this point there be dragons” section" O.K. it really said, ”beyond this point it requires two people” .

    But, the windows work real good, but the frames, weeellllll I put a shelf over the window. It’s not so far out of level that things will slide off. So I put a carving up there. People will concentrate on that ─ who the hell looks at window frames in a work building anyway.

    So, my Frien’s it’s time to end my period of slothful contemplation. Time to move to my carving studio (No way I can call something that costs this much in both effort and dollars a shop). Time to do a little carving. Time to figure out how to justify a recliner up there. Time to end this Epistle from Paul.

  • #2
    I started to look you up last week. I took a detour to Eureka Springs and went thru Alpena. I visited several people and was wishing I knew how to contact you. Maybe the next trip!
    'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

    http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
    http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Welcome back Paul. Many of us on this forum enjoy your musings because we have gone through some of the same experiences or have the same thoughts about the world around us; how rapidly it changes as we get older. Keep it up!

      Comment


      • #4
        Mike, I assume you were in Eureka Springs for the woodcarving event. I tried to get over there but life intervened. I wanted to visit with many friends I seldom see anymore. Did not make either the Rogers or Mt. Home shows this year. I live 7 miles south of Alpena off Hwy 412 at the end of Carroll County Road 925. You're welcome here anytime. Phone is 479 790 5294 and I do text. Had a bad experience with messenger being hacked so do not use it.

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        • #5
          I love seeing your epistles Paul. They are full of humor, honesty and culture. Keep up the great work. I have always claimed that you should do up a collection of these and publish.

          Bob
          Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mpounders View Post
            I started to look you up last week. I took a detour to Eureka Springs and went thru Alpena. I visited several people and was wishing I knew how to contact you. Maybe the next trip!
            What class did you take this year? Vic again?
            ....Dave
            Old carvers never die... they just whittle away.
            www.shellknobwoodcarvers.weebly.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dave.keele View Post

              What class did you take this year? Vic again?
              No, I was actually carving Friday-Sunday with Janet and Adina up in Branson. I went to Eureka Springs to say howdy to Vic and some of the other carvers there. Bought a bunch of rough outs from Harold Enlow. But I would like to carve with Vic again!
              'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

              http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
              http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul_Guraedy View Post
                Mike, I assume you were in Eureka Springs for the woodcarving event. I tried to get over there but life intervened. I wanted to visit with many friends I seldom see anymore. Did not make either the Rogers or Mt. Home shows this year. I live 7 miles south of Alpena off Hwy 412 at the end of Carroll County Road 925. You're welcome here anytime. Phone is 479 790 5294 and I do text. Had a bad experience with messenger being hacked so do not use it.
                I will get by there the next trip I make. Always wanted to see Whooping Holler in person!
                'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

                http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
                http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Paul, I enjoy your epistles. Thanks for posting them here. But I do think they deserve a wider audience. You really could compile them into a book. Think about it. I'd buy it.
                  HonketyHank toot toot

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