For years, I’ve dreamed of having a wood shop. A place to build the things that Norm made look so easy on TV. (Ok, I also wanted to play with all the cool tools! Seriously, a gun that can shoot NAILS…who wouldn’t want that?) When I was younger, the other kids on my block knew not to ask me to do anything on Saturday afternoons…that was New Yankee Workshop and This Old House time, there was nothing that was going to get me to miss those shows.
Somehow, I got bitten by the music bug. I was one of those kids that wasn’t very good at anything. That is, until I joined the school band. I was a big kid, so the band director gently persuaded me toward the tuba. Playing the tuba was good for me, I was able to attend two nationally recognized high schools for the arts, and being a good tuba player got me into the University of Michigan. I’ve played in Carneggie Hall and done quite a bit of traveling to make and learn more about music. With dreams of bing the next tuba player for the Chicago Symphony, woodworking got pushed aside.
The only way a job in a symphony orchestra opens up is if the current player retires or dies. Even if there is an opening, there are sometimes hundreds of applicants trying to audition for ONE spot. Since I like to eat and pay my bills, looking for something else to do with my life became the next priority. If I couldn’t play the tuba for a living, I’d sell them to others so they could follow their dreams.
Working for two major music stores gave me the ability to meet many people from different walks of life. I discovered that many of my customers or coworkers were also into being creative in ways outside of music. I struck gold when one of my coworkers offered up his shop anytime I wanted to come over. This was great….until I moved. The next location actually turned out to be lucky as well. The city had a wood shop that the would rent out one night a week. AWESOME! Again, until I moved.
Now, I’m a school teacher in South Florida. You’d think with all the retired people down here, there would be lots of opportunities for woodworking. Yeah….nope! I’m very lucky to have a girlfriend that has been kind enough to allow me some space in the garage to set up shop. As I build, little by little, I now have the chance to see for myself that you can’t build a bonnet topped high boy in an hour!!!