I am not easily surprised or struck speechless. But this morning at 8:55 I was both.
This was the final day of class for “By Hammer & Hand” at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in Manchester, Conn. The students have been working like dogs building three projects, including the dovetailed schoolbox from “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.”
As I walked into the school I was struck by the fact that almost all 13 students were wearing “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” T-shirts (yes, we will soon have more of these in stock). This wasn’t too surprising — many times students buy my T-shirts because they don’t have anything clean to wear for the next day.
Because of this interesting fact, we will start carrying Lost Art Press thong underwear next year.
Anyway, the other odd thing was they were all wearing name tags again, just like the first day of class. Whatever — I was behind schedule and it was time to start class.
Before I could open my mouth much, they handed me a wrapped present. That has never happened in all my years of teaching. Usually they just give me grief.
I opened it. It was a copy of “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.”
“Thanks guys,” I said. “I hate to tell you this, but I own THOUSANDS of these.”
They told me to look inside. They had all signed their names on the inside with their first name listed at “Thomas” – the apprentice hero of the book. Then I looked closer at someone’s name tag. It read “Thomas.” But his name was David. Rick’s name tag? Thomas. They all were wearing “Thomas” name tags.
That was pretty cool. So I went over to the bowl filled with name tags and made one for myself. Mine said “Sam” — the doofus of the novel.
— Christopher Schwarz