Often, as I peruse my stock of wood, I still, even now after more than a decade since his death, find pieces that were given to me by my grandpa.
Many still have his words scrawled on them in pencil or marker, as he would continue to experiment with and learn about different species of exotic woods.
After saying I would for years, in my 30s, I finally followed through on my intention to learn the art of wood inlay, and spent time under the tutelage of my Grandpa in his shop in upstate New York. It was and always will be a precious memory, not simply for learning his particular method and keeping a family tradition alive, but more so because one can’t really place a value on such opportunities. As Grandpa shouted in his big booming voice one day in his shop, “This is a shot in the arm, Keith! A shot in the arm!”
When I would leave, he would bring out armloads of his stock and pile them in the back of my Subaru for the long drive back to West Virginia, my car filled with the unique smell that can only come from wood.
So when I find a piece of wood that has Grandpa’s words written on it, I can’t help but smile and remember those times together in his shop long ago, and my mind fills again with the words of my Grandpa, teaching me his way of wood inlay.
But more than anything, I am grateful for the words Grandpa wrote upon my heart.
NOTE: These last two photos are from my Dad’s stock. So he too continues to “read” the words of his father as he works with wood.