Friday, October 1, 2010
I looked up from my computer and saw a lovely lady standing in my doorway. She held some wood in her hand - three pieces of 3 1/2 inch rough pine, in lengths of 4 to 6 inches.
Mary Louise held them up. “I am looking for someone to saw these into 3 1/2 inch squares. Do you know anyone that can do that?”
This is Club Ed, I thought, not a handyman referral service. But then I started mentally running through our list of several hundred instructors, and quickly came up with three or four who could take on this project. I picked up the phone, and called Ed Fournier, retired sea captain, stained glass maker, electrician, plumber, carpenter, and proverbial jack-of-all-trades.
Ed loves projects. Whenever we need a picture hung, a door unstuck, a display put together, we call Ed. He comes right over with the right tool, and - after at least one trip to Gibson’s - he has fixed our problem. The man knows how to do everything. He is a walking Time-Life How-To book.
Ed is our MacGyver.
He figured out how to mount a neon sculpture in our window, then hooked it up to a timer so it would come on at night. There is no limit to his skill or endurance. When we needed an extra room, he built an entire wall in our building. When we worried about spam coming over our Internet, he came up with a clever device to manually disable the connection. When we needed to run electricity outside for a project, he built a heavy-duty extension cord with multiple grounded outlets.
Once he even built a walking armadillo. When his daughter needed a float for a company parade, Ed put together a model of an armadillo that she could pull, with feet that flapped and tail that wagged. It won first prize.
Back to Mary Louise...
Even though he had sold most of his woodworking tools, Ed came right over and managed to make the cuts, just right, then sand them smooth as an armadillo’s snout.
This story has two morals. One. Even while Mary Louise was wrong about the purpose of Club Ed; she was right to come to Club Ed for help. After all, this is community education. Where else would you find such a large resource of talented people with expertise in areas from aerospace to scuba diving, from weaving to woodworking? We have literally hundreds of instructors, hobbyists, and experts who are passionate about learning and teaching.
Second moral: If you ever need anything done, call Ed.