Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Wind

A couple decades and change ago, I had the enviable position as an apprentice at the Geddy Foundry at Colonial Williamsburg.  Having started working for CW at 10yrs, this was an entirely new extension of all that history I had crammed into my head over the years. Almost twenty years of my life were spent working for CW and I don't regret a moment of it except leaving. Thankfully, examples of my work are still extant and tangible, if only in pictures.The concept of the crafts (later called trades) program was to preserve the skills and knowledge of the trade so that they could be passed to future generations. The concept was simple. Learn to do this the way it was done back in the mid 18th century using the same tools and technique available at the time. Pass this information and skill onto successive generations of craftsmen and demonstrate to the public while at the same time, teaching the history of metal work and life in colonial Virginia to the public. Always though, preservation and education were the focus. What comes around goes around its said and here I'm at it again.
I'm reminded of this because the master of the shop while I was there was Sven Dan Berg. He and I both shared a strong love of sailing and the Chesapeake Bay. Anybody thats ever spent enough time on that water knows that the weather can turn on you at the drop of a hat. Dan used to get a kick out of talking about the wind as described to him once by a fellow from Mathews County (on the Bay) Va. Throwing on a heavy Mathews accent, he'd declare "it was blowin so hard it took 15 widow women to hold a rip saw edge to the wind". I still laugh at that one. I'm also reminded of this because right now the wind is rippin across this island and is pushing water into places it doesn't normally go except when it blows..lol..which is standard fare down this way.
That's just one of the reasons we have our houses set on sticks, kinda like docks you live in. And do they ever shake. You know you're on the island when the wind is blowing and you literally have waves in your toilet. Surfs up Tidy Bowl man!
Tis the same wind that shapes this place, changes the shoreline and makes being out on the beach an absolute struggle for fisherman, swimmers, and wildlife alike.

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