Born and am living in the same house. I was born to a strict german Dad and a mother that was a soft spoken hollander. My Dad was co'-founder of Riesterer and Schnell implement which was a small John Deere implement dealership. With my Dad as the then Blacksmith or worker and his Brother John the Salesmen (non-worker)
it flourished. It also had a tavern attached so if the deal was not going well they stepped into the tavern and had a shot and beer or to and made it work. My Dad was a hard working , hard drinking strict father who never touched me but just with a look tore me a new one. Can honestly say I never had a conversation with him. I really did'nt take to the dealership because I could hear people say, Its the owners son he's got it made, or he does'nt work he's the owner son, which I hated. I had one older brother by ten years and an older sister. I cut my teeth on a Black and Decker jigsaw when I was 11. Loved that thing and with some friends bullt a raft and floated in down a creek nearby. That was the start of a lifelong love. Managed to bring that jigsaw around while it was running and touch my waist. That of my first on site construction accident.
Next Dad found a second hand mini-lathe and I made mostly a mess, but sure had fun. Made little mouse lures complete with shoe string tails. Put triple hooks on them and had a few large mouth bass scarce the be Jesus out of me when they'd hit right next to the shore. My Dad died when I was 17. It was hard and I had a chance at buying his shares in the business but I felt I did'nt need anybody, and that I would work with wood. That was the most costly mistake of my life. Riesterer and Schnell went on to be a multi million dollar company and needless to say my brother is rich. BUT, I followed what I loved and that was wood. Finished high school and that summer I helped the industrial arts teacher build his house. The Vietnam war was in full swing and we had a number system for a draft. I got called but was rejected because of my ankle which I broke but good as a kid. Worked first for Laun Lumber co. as a Carpenter for two years and then Meyer Builders for 5 years and all the free time I was doing carpentry moonlighting for extra mnney. In 1976 I started Mike's siding and Remodeling and was that for 28 years. Always worked alone even sort of kept to myself when there were crews. For my busines I would sub out the other trades if I was building a house or if it was a large addition I would cash out a friend for a helping hand. ALL through those years I always loved what I did and loved wood. Its a part of me. I can show you the slivers.
My beloved mom passed in 1998. Think of her most every day.She was a senitive thoughtful women and strong willed. Loved her dearly. In 2001 we had the mother of all storms and I had work work work. I think it took a toll on me because in the summer of it was either 2002 or 03 I got sick, real sick. And then my wife also got sick. I spent what I had to pay the hospital bills. Lost my business and my retirement hunting land to pay the bills and to keep the house. These were the toughest decisions so far in my life until I had to call social secruity and ask for disabiliy benifits. I lost part of being a man that day.
The best thing by far that I did was finding my now wife Jen. We married in 1996 and are going strong together today. She is a strong women and beautifull woman who puts up with ME. Thats saying a lot. I would be nothing without her. And of course there is ROCCO oor cocker spaniel who is my very best friend. He stayed by my side even in the darkest days.
And now I still can not let go of wood my first love. I hope it shows in what I do in my stocks for uncovering the bueaty in the wood that God made is so much fun and I feel so lucky to get a chance to do it. As long as I'm on a roll here, please people try to get along here on the forum, there is so much talent here and so much to discover and learn, life is to short to waste it with petty jealousy. Get along and enjoy each others gifts and faults. NOBODY is perfect. As I have always said I am truly blessed to be part of this forum. YES, I am done typing.