Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Lists from the perspective of a Bamboo Fly Rod Maker's Widow


As 2010 slipped away, the Oyster Bamboo family has the desire to reminisce (at least I do).

We are grateful for all of the palpable events that life beautifully produces…family, friends, fish (the norm). However, because we are bamboo rod makers (or married to one), our life is completely swallowed by the craft.
So, my 2010 reflections will be from the warped perspective of a bamboo fly rod maker’s widow…simple as that…
Let the lists begin…

Top 10 Reasons for a 
bamboo fly rod maker’s widow to be grateful:

10. Good Music – because without internet access or television of any kind in the shop, music is our savior. Conversation comes second to a good tune.
9. God – including but not limited to…creating the sea and fish on the fifth day.
8. Life’s “learning curve” that taught us to learn to make a living at what we love instead of learning to tolerate whatever activity makes a living.
7. Cutter, Veronica, Yogi and Molly -
6. Being a part of so many extraordinary occasions – we have been honored enough to be the special gift for retirements, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays…et cetera…
5. Main Street in Blue Ridge, GA – our version of a neighborhood.
4. A Full Rod Rack – It's fun to time the completion of our rods so we may gaze at them...for a moment, at least. (see # 3).
3. An Empty Rod Rack - I am even more grateful for the fact that all of those rods sold and our rack, once again sits empty.
2. Riley – I am grateful this year for our new full-time apprentice and friend. His help around the workshop is invaluable but most importantly…he makes me laugh.

1. Our clientsall of you…you know who you are…let’s see…how would I best describe your ilk…Obsessive, maniacal learners, methodical but ironically artful at the same time. Yes, you know who you are...most of our clients become our friends so perhaps I should just say our friends.

Because our shop is on Main Street in the middle of a tourist town, non fly fisherman / women inadvertently stumble upon our shop regularly and say the “darndest” things.

Here are some of my personal favorites...
Top 10 shop walk-in quotes
10. $1840 for your least expensive rod? Wow! How many do you make in a day?
9. So, this is a barber shop? (really…this happened)
8. Where can we can fish around here without a license and not get caught?
7. If I bring you some of the bamboo from my back yard, will you buy it?
6. I have a Winston.
5. This is great but what’s your real job?
4. What do ya’ll use? Corn or spinners?
3. Husband to wife screaming outside our door: “All they do in there is tie flies…tie flies…that’s it! I ain’t going in there!”
2. Good Luck making a living!
1. What kind of a dog is that? 

As most of you know, we regularly have classes at the workshop. Students come in from all of the country (and several countries for that matter) to learn to build their own bamboo fly rod. It would be impossible to make a "list" of all of the quotes worthy of mentioning in this blog.
So, here are only a few...

Top 10 Student Quotes
10. Isn’t there a machine that can do that for us?
9. When I show up to the river with my graphite rod, I am just another fly-fisherman. When I show up to the river with this rod, I am a rock star.
8. This is exactly the way I imagined bamboo fly rod makers live...spending long days and nights in a dusty workshop, drinking beer and talking about fish. It’s my personal hope for heaven.
7. Did I really almost impale him?
6. No, no, wait I meant to do that.
5. I feel as if I have transcended into a parallel universe and learning the process of making a bamboo fly rod was the portal.
4. I usually hate people…but I really like you guys.
3. Check another one off my bucket list!
2. I know that I am supposed to say that my wedding or the birth of my children was the best day of my life but this week was way better.
1. (insert English accent here) Bill, you bring out the magic in people, that’s what you do.
So, that's it for now. Bill is sitting here next to me feeling a bit left out so perhaps I'll make him tell me his favorite moments of 2010...
Happy Everything (including but not limited to the new year upon us),