A challenge

I enjoy teaching a great deal. It is never something I imagined I would ever do, but as time goes on I find I am invited to do it more and more often. My goal is not so much to tell people a detailed step by step process of how to do the things we do but rather inspire and bring out the very best of what is already there but not realized for some reason. I cross paths with many people in my travels, sometimes more than once. A few of these people become very good friends through the years. Meetings with these folks can be energizing and hopefully spark some great things down the road, both for the person I meet and for myself as well.

Today I bumped into Kurt Stoner, a talented sign maker (Stoner Grahix) from Pennsylvania. I've long admired his work and was honored to have him attend our Sculpting Magic Workshop last year. We had supper together, along with one of his employees and another new friend Peter Poanessa (Keene Signworx) from New Hamshire who does awesome signs. The discussion we had over dinner centered around business and common interests of course. It was spirited with lots of laughter and joking. We were in agreement about much of what we discussed. But being passionate and somewhat competitive we also challenged each other, sharing information and tricks of the trade. Inevitably the converstation turned to the future and projects long dreamed of, some discussed in the past. And then the challenges started to be thrown out - in all seriousness but in good fun as well.

Kurt and I each have a similar project we have long dreamed of and discussed together... and the challenge was on. His goal is to build a treehouse inside/outside his studio. My similar goal is to build such a structure into our new house. We shook hands and bet a Coca Cola to seal the wager. A great deal of honor is at stake.

Kurt believes he has a head start on me since he heads home to Pennsylvania tomorrow. He'll probably stay up late in his hotel room tonight doing some sketches. He told me he has much of the material that he needs left over from another project. I don't leave until Sunday and have longer to travel but no matter. Kurt cannot and will not win this bet. No way.  :)

What Kurt does not know is our treehouse at our house is well under way. The structure is welded, much of the outside work is done. In the next few weeks we'll begin work again to finish things off (as soon as the drywall is done). I'll let him send me a few emails bragging of his rapid progress, maybe even through the design process and into his construction beginnings. But he is an exceptionally busy guy and will not be able to put in a whole lot of time. Then, as soon as we are done ours ( sometime just before Christmas) I'll send him photos of our finished project and lay claim to the coveted prize. He'll cry foul without a doubt... but no matter. A win is a win. He should have known better but I doubt he will learn not to bet against me. What's more I do not feel bad for we discussed the project many months ago and he had plenty of time to act. :)

Don't tell him about this post (even though I warned him I would make it) for he should take me seriously (as he will soon learn) I didn't promise to fight fair - only that I would win - no matter what.

I'll post pictures of the finished project and of me enjoying the ice cold Coca Cola Kurt will buy me very soon.

-grampa dan