29 June 2009

Michael makes a point

I've decided that I'll never make my way through the hundreds of photographs from our US visit unless I simply focus on highpoints, relying for the most part on the photo=1000words principle.

In that spirit, here's a photo montage of our visit to an old, old friend in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Walter was first a friend of my sister Cheri's in high school, then Michael's and mine when he was a freshman at Amherst during my senior year at Mount Holyoke. We'd lost touch--as one does--but his prominence as a blacksmith (the word seems so inadequate for what he creates) meant I could track him down. On my last visit on to Lansdale, Walter came out to Mom and Dad's to relive the Weisheit experience; this time we went to see his forge--and to reunite Walter and Michael after almost forty years. They have very similar senses of humo(u)r, sparking off each other so quickly that the rest of us merely try to keep up with the rapid-fire puns etc. Note, for example, the t-shirt Walter wore in Michael's honor:

Before heading to the forge, we met Walter and his lovely girlfriend Lyn for lunch at a local restaurant. She's not just a pretty face (and a magnificent mane of red hair--all our jaws dropped to find out she's only two years younger than I am): a professional photographer herself, she directs an extraordinary center for disabled artists.

Walter is a widower, and the forge is still on the farm his wife and he had once owned. His closest neighbor is this fine specimen of a turkey:

Walter's former family home:

The blacksmith at work:

Walter instructs Michael on how to fashion a point, hence the title of this post. Said point, slightly blunt though it may be, is now on display in our London living room next to the antique microscope Kate bought for her father.

Below are some of Walter's creations. The door is not his own design, but a faithful--and laborious--reproduction he's presently working on for Florida clients. Be sure to click on the photograph of the dragon door he did design for a prominent Manhattan attorney so that you can see the detail.

When we knew Walter way back when, he was carving in wood (as well as being granted patents on various inventions). A few of these projects remain in his workshop.

Last, especially for Kate, photos of various corners of the studio. A dream environment, eh? Something to aspire to.

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