Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

A Tallahassee Tea Party
by James Glaser
March 20, 2009

When I think of people protesting in America, I think of people up North or out West. I think of old hippies or new young radicals, but those are not the people who protest in the South.

Here in Tallahassee they had a "Tea Party" on the steps of the old pre-Civil War State Capital. I counted over 200 people, and they certainly were not the old hippie types, and I didn't see that many young people either. The people who were protesting all the money they are spending in Washington looked a lot like Beaver Cleaver's mom and dad. Women in dresses or nice work clothes, men in suits and ties or dress shirts. Middle America hooting and hollering about how mad they are at Uncle Sam.

These people were working people, management and labor. Many took off work an hour early to be able to show their support for less spending in Washington. This local protest was just one of scores of protests going on around the country this week.

Back To Work

I have been working all week but for most of the week it wasn't really productive, I was doing my taxes. I don't know how fast you are at doing yours, but it always takes me several days to get everything entered, checked, and rechecked. I wonder just how many man-years are used up doing taxes in America each year.

So, on Thursday it was back to making sawdust. Last month I entered a juried art show, and two of my pieces were selected. One of them still needed a frame, and I wanted to use walnut. I had no walnut and nobody in the Art Park had any either. Early this morning I headed out to Blountstown, about 50 miles west of here to buy my piece of walnut at Redwood Bay Lumber Company.

All the way out there, I was telling myself that I only needed one eight foot board, six inches wide. Well, if you are a woodworker, and you are looking through stacks of pretty wood, something comes over you and you start getting all of these ideas of what you could make if you had this board or that board or better yet, both of them. I ended up with thirty boards instead of one. But I got a real deal, and some nice wood, and yes, my head is now filled with ideas. I got back to the shop, I cut the one piece of walnut I needed to length, smoothed one edge on the joiner, cut the board to the width I needed on the table saw, recut those boards to the 4 lengths I needed for the frame, and sanded them smooth. Tomorrow morning, I'll frame the wall piece, wax it, and polish it and the other piece, too. Then I'll be all ready to bring both to the show on the 25th.

When that is all done, I can start playing with my new boards. I like making things, and I am good at it. I don't really enjoy selling the things I make, but If I want the "high" I get from buying new wood, I have to sell.

Now is not a good time to sell, but I have to keep working. I can stockpile some things until the economy turns around, and I have been thinking that I should stress making useable things like furniture, rather than art work. Either way though, I am doing work I enjoy, and maybe now is the time to make something really special. Take my time, use my imagination and try to impress myself. See what I am really capable of.

I think the next few weeks will be very satisfying.

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