Saturday, January 06, 2018

skiffs and volunteers...

Yesterday at ESSA we worked to complete the Bevins Skiffs. Still needing to be done are adding seats, quarter knees, foredecks and paint. We moved them into the lathe room to give volunteers room to work in the machine room, getting things ready for next summer's classes.

At Clear Spring School my students had been playing in the woods and wanted to make bows and arrows in wood shop. They were disappointed that I had them making books instead. We've made bows and arrows before at the Clear Spring School, but not so children could run and play with them in the woods.

I have been giving some thought to party politics. Republicans tend to think that people are dumb and need to be controlled and that corporations are smart and should be given free reign. Democrats tend to think that people are needy and not necessarily smart. Both tend to place emphasis on the fact that we adhere to a capitalist ideology and economic system.

I suggest that we look at who we really are. We have corporations working for the big bucks. But we are also a nation in which people go to great lengths to care for each other and to do what needs to be done, whether being paid for it or not. Take our library for example. The librarians are not paid a lot, but if you show up wanting a book or some other of the many services they offer, you get friendly and professional help. The librarians are helped by senior volunteers who simply want to give back to our community, and the whole system is backed by a board of directors who give their time free and have done so for years.

Would you like other examples? I can go through the whole town from the grocery store to the post office, from the dentists, nurses and doctors who volunteer their time at our free clinic, to the food bank, the parks and parks board and throughout our small community. We may be something special here in Eureka, but I doubt it. Even without considering the non-profits and volunteers, think of the families in which parents and grandparents are working each day to bring stability and security to the lives of our children. Capitalism is not the heart of this nation. Volunteers and those who choose to work for modest wages to serve others are the heart and soul of who we are.

The parties (as they are now) tend to not see the power or the strength of our people. Politicians need to be redirected, and the political debates should start with the idea that people are to be trusted, that they are good, that we can make decisions about our own lives.

Want one more example? Today at ESSA, a team of volunteers will be helping to get the woodworking studio ready for spring and summer classes. Want to join us, you may. Want to sign up for classes, the schedule can be found online at

The photo shows some of my students with  our boats.

Make, fix and create. Assist others to learn likewise.

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