Created: June 1994
Updated: March 24, 2020
My woodworking skills served me well. My professional woodworking father passed on much of his fine woodworking and carpentry skills. He also made sure I had considerable formal training taking me to woodworking classes with him as his military service moved us all over the world. He gave me lots of experience working closely with him building our own homes and furniture. I also learned much of the construction business working with him in his construction firm and cabinet shop, and with my seven uncles all in construction.
In the sixties when I left home still in high school I supported myself doing woodworking. Although I did a little general construction, mostly I did remodeling. One of the homes I helped remodel was owned by a well to do architect. He and his electrical engineer business partner had a business that fixed up older commercial properties which they could then get for near nothing, then helped others build businesses that they hopefully could franchise. I helped them build an English pub they called the Fox and Goose, then helped them build an ice creamery called Gunther’s Ice Cream. Gunther’s did so well they decided to have me build up Leatherby’s Ice Cream which they then franchised over a wide area. I then got my contractor's license. Their next similar effort was to have me and my friends build a family spaghetti restaurant called the Old Spaghetti Factory that they franchised all over. They then hired me to help them with their dream to restore Old Sacramento. I redid all the walks and restored multiple buildings. In appreciation they let me buy the old 1800s building called Fanny Ann’s Saloon and they even found me a bar owner who wanted to lease that space from me. I fixed that building up and the bar owner proved unable to meet his financial obligations to be able to start business, so I ended up owning both the facility and was majority owner of that bar business. It did exceptionally well, until I got drafted. The business went under when I was away. When I returned in the early 1970s I went to work teaching and doing research, then reluctantly was drafted to work for our Governor as well. Two full time jobs were not enough, illness left me to also run my family’s firm that made custom cabinets, built new homes, and "flipped" existing homes and apartment buildings. In the early 1990s I turned over the family business and made woodworking a hobby. In 2000 wood dust triggered health problems pulled the plugs on my machines and made me more of a tool collector than tool user. Sharing how I protected my family and me turned these pages into a dust collection authority and made me perhaps a little too well known.