With any luck, this first post is the hardest, and the worst. It’s a microcosm of this whole endeavor: rather aimless but not pointless. It’s an attempt to scratch out some coherent documentation of what I’ve come to realize is a lifelong love of creating. There was a busy but impoverished and ultimately euthanized music career – one can’t live with one’s parents forever – that morphed into a hobby of auto restoration and mechanics that fed a dire need for an outlet outside the office. My first victims were old Ford pickups: a ’73 picked up on eBay for $500 and driven from Virginia to Boston, and an ’86, also picked up off eBay and driven from Denver to Boston. The ’73 spawned a bad case of the while-I’m-in-theres, and, once it was reduced to a pair of frame rails flopped haplessly over a quartet of jackstands, it began a long and painful imparting of the lesson that the purchase price of these projects tends to be the smallest bill on them. It really only needed three parts, but that those parts were an engine, a cab and a bed weighed down the progress. A move to the west coast made it much easier to just get another running one, and the carcass went to a PACCAR bodyshop worker. The ’86, a 4wd crew cab with a 6.9 liter diesel and an aftermarket turbocharger, managed a few trips cross country before it was discovered that said trips were accomplished with a cam bearing having made it’s way down to the oil pan, and off it went to the glue factory in favor of some less worn hardware that was needed at the time.
But that wasn’t the end of the tinkering, and while starting projects was a much more easily attained skill than finishing them, a long and fruitful process of free association was spawned: auto restoration begat an interest in welding, which begat an interest in building other, more easily finished things like furniture and shop equipment. Lifelong interests in sailing and boats made their way into the mix, and I now find myself staring at, along with a yard full of incomplete projects that will hopefully wind their way through these pages on their way to victorious conclusion, the overall topic of creating, and its shepherds: the makers, artists, and fabricators, who have earned my ever increasing admiration and who, with their resourcefulness, gumption, and imagination despite a world increasingly dependent on memorized learning, provide all life, with its problems to solve and skills to attain, with much needed and fruitful enrichment.
God willing and the creek don’t rise, a sliver of that will end up on these pages.