Monday, April 12, 2010

early days

As my readers know, I have been going through my mother's things, and her old photos are a gold mine of memories for my sisters and I. When we lived in Memphis, my dad was continuously involved in fixing up our home. In the back yard we had a old rickety garage which he had dramatically removed through the use of a long rope and a 1946 Hudson. In its place he built us a playhouse with overseas shipping crates from the Memphis General Depot where he was a major at the time. You can see that building things is a very strong part of the Stowe family genome. Shown above with my dad, are my sisters Ann and Sue, with Mary to come a few years later.

At one time in America, this is what families did... We made things. We built things and learned things together. Now, as children are plugged into electronic devices in excess of 11 hours a day (according to a major survey), many other normal engagements in human hands-on creativity have been abandoned or severely curtailed. We suffer for the loss.

Prior to the 21st century, many teachers and administrators knew the value of hands-on learning for all students. As a craftsman with over thirty years experience, having written 6 books and over 60 articles about crafting things from wood, and having been named a "living treasure" in my adopted home state of Arkansas, I do know what I'm talking about. We are smarter, and happier when we are engaged hands-on. We are more deeply appreciative of human culture when we have become engaged in creating at least a part of it. Our human character is given greater depth and purpose when we have through our own experience learned the dignity and value of skilled human labor.

Make, fix, plant, cook, sew, create. Learn, grow, express. Our lives (and yours) will be richer and more meaningful through your labors.


  1. Michael5:16 AM

    After reading sweet post I also gone in past when me and my little sister are small children !

    All those days are very special for me.

    I think childhood is the golden period of our life

    What's your thought ?


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  2. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Save those old pictures that are part of the roots! And label them, too, since otherwise memory might not help much.