or, some of the things he used to play with, but doesn't any more, very much . . .

     Before the War, my two brothers and I enjoyed what I have always felt to be the distinct advantage of beginning our formative years growing up on the farm in Northeastern Ohio, in Lake County. We had the opportunity and encouragement to be "boys", and we gathered up all manner of interesting stuff from generous paper route customers, the village dump, military surplus goods, and all the interesting things that locals were discarding from home use during the first part of the commercial boom times after the War ended. This "raw material" for curious boys was fascinating gold to us.

     I later taught high school Industrial Arts for many years in SW Ohio, and only a few of my school shop boys, out of a thousand or so, showed the obvious early promise of that certain mechanical inclination and innate ability to easily understand mechanical things, and to use tools and materials as a youngster. In my shop teaching experience it is definitely not common in many boys. I don’t yet know if that extra spark is something that can be taught and nurtured later in life, or if one must be born with it. Or, I wonder if the key is that a boy must have the opportunity to experience ‘things’, beginning at an early age, as I was so blessed.

     My goal in creating this website is to show some of these exploits of youth (at all ages), and describe with a few paragraphs what has been for me a continuing series of gratifying life long interests and activities. There is some overlapping in the chronology, and I could illustrate many additional hobbies, but none that fit well enough among these illustrated.

     The bikes and old cars are all gone now, but a few of the horse vehicles are still in the barn (as noted), and the Little British Cars are easy to get to in the garage.  Lots of work remains to be done though, and other current activities can be seen at The Black Sheep Fiber Farm.