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Thread: A very serious wood gloat

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Kutztown PA

    A very serious wood gloat

    Greetings all

    I consider myself blessed most of the time - well, all of the time really - with the wood that comes my way. I'm even a little uncomfortable with the word gloat, although I know it is the recognized word for talking about a new acquisition or whatever sort. But here is one I want to share.

    I just got home from a trip to the nation's capitol, and demonstrating for two clubs down in the area. One of the "perks" of my occupation is that people like to do nice things for me, and while I was down there, I received an honor that has me just a little nervous for the carrying out of its intent. One of the people who works at the White House bought my DVD a while ago. When he learned that I was coming to visit his club, he wrote and offered me a tour of the White House. I gladly accepted, and was able to bring the family with me. It was a wonderful time, and we got to see some stuff that most people don't get to see close up. We weren't in any top secret locations or anything like that, but we got to go behind the barriers in the public places and see paintings, furniture, and other historical items up close, and with our own Secret Service agent to guide us around. It was truly an honor. But then...

    As we came to the end of the tour, my benefactor, who had accompanied us on the tour, pointed out a stump on the White House lawn. It was a scarlet oak tree that had just come down a couple of weeks ago. Can you see where this is going? He got right on it and acquired a bunch of the wood. He went on to tell me that there were several logs waiting for me to take possession, if I was interested.


    So in addition to seeing a great piece of our nation's history up close, I now have in my possession four pieces of scarlet oak planted on the White House grounds by one of the presidents - I have to write to get that info again, since my head was reeling by that point - back in the 1800s. Here is where the nervous part comes in. I love to turn, and usually I do well at it, but every now and then, things go wrong on the lathe. There is going to be a lot of contemplation when any of this stuff goes on, and it is going to be treated very carefully indeed. I don't want to be throwing any of this into the furnace.

    Pictures will come as I get pieces made.

    Last edited by Bill Grumbine; 11-13-2007 at 12:53 AM.
    Bill Grumbine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Wow Bill. The words "honor" and "Privilege" just don't say enough. Can't wait to see the heirlooms that come from that tree. Congratulations!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    "Wow"! Doesn't suffice. What a super honor. I'm sure you will do proud with it. Maybe you can make something 'extra' special and get to present it to the President personally. That SS guard has his head screwed on correctly. About a year ago another historic tree was removed from White House grounds and promptly sent to the chipper. Pure ignorance there. Can't wait for the pictures. I'm not familiar with Scarlet Oak, what does the wood look like?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Bill, never having met you face to face (only from my tv monitor from a dvd or on your avatar ) I feel I know you and am confident this wood and hidden treasures are in the most capable of hands. Look forward to seeing what it is that is in that there wood!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Drums, PA


    Politics aside... It would be neat to give the Commander in Chief a turning from that tree.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Pickles Gap, Arkansas
    Bill, that is fantastic! Big-time congratulations to you!!! Can't wait to see some pictures!
    If you have a pulse you have a purpose...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Wow indeed!! I'm jealous of you...but then again, I don't think I could put a chunk on the lathe...just not good enough quite yet to hack away at such an important/historic piece of wood. Congrats
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  8. #8
    Congrats Bill! In your hands some beautiful projects will appear. I'm glad they are not in my possession!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Harvey, Michigan
    Wow! Quite the story! Looking forward to seeing what you turn from it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    That's a huge honour to receive that wood Bill. I can understand your nervousness about putting a gouge into it .

    I also have to second Frank and Rons sentiments about donating a turning to the White House and/or to the sitting President when you have something finished. I think that would be the ultimate presentation for a wood turner from the USA.

    Congratulations !! and kudos the gentleman who recognised the historical value as well as the potential of the wood.

    cheers eh?

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