As a child I was always in my dad's shop cutting pieces of scrap wood, and trying to make wooden boats and other toys to play with. When my dad was busy doing DIY projects around the house I was always right there with him learning what I could. As I grew older I became more interested in sports, especially track, and I no longer had time to make things.
Once I graduated from college and my track career was over, I realized that I had not lost my passion for making things out of wood. The more I tinkered in the shop, the more I wanted to be in it making things. I purchased my first woodworking tool, a Shopsmith Mark 5, in 1984 shortly after my wife and me were married. Since that purchase I have been making furniture, toys for my kids and other functional items for family and friends during my spare time. Being a coach and teacher you are blessed with several extended holidays and a couple months off during the summer. During that time I was able spend a lot of time in the shop and develop my skills working with wood.
When we built our home in 1989 I was able to build all of the cabinets in our home with the skills I developed over the years. Those skills helped in completing several more cabinet jobs for friends and family members. During the last 35 years or so I have really enjoyed creating things out of wood, doing home improvement projects and honing my skills in the shop. In June of 2013 I ended a 31-1/2 year career as a middle school coach and principal in my home town of New Iberia, Louisiana. My last 20 years were all spent at Iberia Middle School. During those years I was blessed to be able to work with some really great people and I hopefully made a difference in many students lives.
Retirement brought about plenty of time to be in the shop and do what I really enjoyed. I had time to do what I previously did to wind down and get away from the stresses of life. Right before I retired, I applied for and was accepted into the Louisiana Crafts Guild. With that acceptance I began taking part in craft shows and festivals around the area. Because I was always looking for items to create in the shop to sell at the shows, I purchased a video on line on how to make wooden spoons. That purchase came to be one of the best investments I have ever made. After viewing the video several times and working on the skills needed to make spoons, I have developed a line of spoons that I am very proud of. I take pride in every item that I create in the shop and put my name behind every one.
The years that I spent working with kids were truly rewarding and fulfilling. However, in my second career I have found that taking a piece of wood and turning it into something beautiful and functional can be equally rewarding and fulfilling.