I grew up in a big family in New York’s St. Lawrence River Valley, helping my folks work on our old house and doing farm work for neighbors. Later I attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, and graduated with degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology, along with a passion for whitewater paddling and wilderness rivers. St. Lawrence also provided me with an opportunity to study in Kenya, where I had a powerful educational experience and met Carrie, the young woman who would later become my wife. We worked and skied for several years in the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming, started the family and the business in Tunbridge, Vermont, and now reside in Rochester, Vermont with our young sons, Henry and Porter.
As a side effect of having moved around a good deal, I have been blessed to work with a whole list of talented and experienced woodworkers (did I mention old?), and my work represents a blend of theirs. Whatever abilities I have in this trade are owed to these mentors who have generously shared their knowledge with me.
You know how local is the new organic? Well, I think one day watershed will be the new local. A lot of us think of local in terms of political boundaries — townships, county lines, and so on. While this is a good place to start, we are bound to realize that the social health of our locality is inextricably linked to its ecological health, and the ecological boundary lines out there in the woods are watershed boundaries. Precipitation runs into brooks and streams and creeks and rivers and eventually the ocean. Neighbors whose rainfall funnels into the same river are in the same watershed. When people take care of their piece of ground, you have healthy land, and healthy land means healthy water. Healthy water is pretty important to healthy communities, and healthy communities are ones in which people do their best to look out for one another, and help those in need. So why Watershed? Because we all live in one. Other than that, I’ve been addicted to paddling moving water for about 25 years and there is scarcely a river out there that I haven’t either paddled or wanted to.