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A Man About Wood

I grew up a fisherman's son, the youngest of six. Running sportfishing boats was a family business and I spent a lot of time down at the docks and on the boats. Every four or five years, Dad would launch a new boat, sell the old one, and immediately begin planning improvements for the next boat. Dad knew what he wanted, but when the local boat yards couldn't satisfy his demands, he built the boat of his dreams. Intending to build just the one boat, the 113 foot Royal Polaris, he put together a crew of local talent and they exceeded his expectations, as well as everyone else's. By the time the 'Royal' was launched, Poole Boat Co. had orders for two more boats. This was an exciting time for me, a fifteen year old boy. It was awesome going from models to actual size.
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Seeing something built from the ground up, a culmination of innovative ideas and raw materials---designing, building, and proudly putting your name on it. During my college years, studying business, my summers were often spent at the boat yard in the wood shop, designing and building pieces for family and friends. With some guidance from the shop foreman, I was able to take my life skills to task, challenging myself to reach beyond the limits of each previous project. Only by learning the skills necessary to work and shape the wood, can a person begin to expose the woods' potential beauty. This unique 'apprenticeship' period at the boat yard gave me a chance to explore my limitations, as well as determine my personal motivations for creating a piece of furniture from within.
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I was very fortunate growing up in an environment that exposed both a talent and a passion that may otherwise have gone unheeded. It isn't everyone who spends their life doing what they love.