Camaraderie - Woodshop News

Camaraderie

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Not quite a year ago – it was my Feb. 1 blog “What’s not to like” – I spoke of how great a job it is to be a woodworker. That was reinforced this morning when I got the red-carpet treatment at a local museum.

I needed to get measurements and take some good-quality photos of a 145-year-old officer’s field desk from the Civil War that is on exhibit at The Castle, a museum across the river from me in Marietta, Ohio. They had balked a bit on my initial contact with them, and mentioned that they couldn’t allow photography. Once I explained who I was and what I wanted to do, and reassured them that I’d use no flash when taking pictures, they welcomed me over.

Now, the museum is closed this time of year and operates with a skeleton staff, but a museum employee named Susan was waiting for me. We chatted briefly, and then she escorted me to the field desk. She slipped on white gloves before touching the desk, and I think she was a bit impressed when I pulled a pair of my own out and donned them before touching anything. Didn’t take a lot of photos – I didn’t need a lot – but the whole thing managed to take nearly 90 minutes, most of which was filled with talk. About the desk. About some features I pointed out that she had not noticed previously. About the Civil War. And, of course, about woodworking in general.

Turned out she also does some woodworking, which was apparent from her knowledge of joinery and other things even before she mentioned it. We traded stories, compared notes, and in general just chatted away the whole time I’m measuring and photographing. And the entire time she offered to move the desk as needed for the shots and allowed me to intimately examine the rare antique. When I finished, she was eager to show me a few more furniture items in their collection. In short, it was a pleasant morning and time well spent.

I said it a year ago and I’ll say it again now: People feel good to be around woodworkers, and woodworkers enjoy the company of people.

I hadn’t really forgotten that, but it was nice to once again see that it’s true.

Till next time,

A.J.

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