Papa, I’m Building That Table

So my woodworking obsession isn’t new. The thought of creating something and building it with my own hands has always been appealing to me. It started at a very young age. My dad and I would watch This Old House and Home Again every Sunday morning. He would go out and get the paper and bagels. I’d grab the comics and he would take the rest of it. We would make our bagels and then sit down to watch. It was our thing. And I loved it.

My interest was also fueled by my Papa. He was a master craftsman. The man could build anything, fix anything, design and create anything. His skill was unmatched. He worked his way from carpenter, to contractor, to city building inspector.  He was a hard worker with values and ethics that unfortunately seems a rarity these days. He had gained the respect of many people in his community and would never settled for shoddy work. If it wasn’t right he would tell you why, show you the correct way to fix it, and then made sure you in fact did fix it. They say they don’t make houses like they used to, that’s because they don’t make men like my Papa anymore.

My Papa as a young man. (sitting on car)

My Papa as a young man. (sitting on car)

 

Whenever I would go visit him he was always building something new. Sometimes it was a new addition to the house and other times it was just some shelving, the point is the man was constantly creating. And he was truly amazing at it. He loved what he did and I admired him for that and his work ethic. He is my biggest inspiration.

But perhaps the most  beautiful and fantastic thing he ever built was my dollhouse. This was no ordinary dollhouse. No way. Not for his only granddaughter (at the time I was the only one). This house was huge! And his attention to detail was incredible, words cannot even describe it. From the little bricks in the foundation, to the tiny wooden slats that made up the floor of the front porch. No detail was too small and “ok” was never good enough for him. He even wired it so the lights would light up and the chimney would smoke! This house was truly a labor of love and something I will cherish and have forever. (Pictures coming!)

Nana and Papa

Nana and Papa

 

Sadly my Papa passed away almost two years ago. Before he died I told him I wanted to build furniture and there were these classes I wanted to take. He was pretty sick at this point and couldn’t hear well or say too much. But he smiled and that’s all I needed to see. Last Christmas I drove my Nana to the cemetery to see him. At that point I still had not built anything or taken any classes because they were so expensive. And as I stood in front of his head stone I thought to myself, Papa wouldn’t have accepted my excuses of no time, no money, got side tracked etc. So I told him that I haven’t built anything yet, but I saw a table I love and I want to build. And I am going to do it before I go back to NYC. I am going to build that table. And so I did.

My first table, for you Papa.

My first table, for you Papa.

 

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