Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Friend is Declining

At breakfast this morning Julie and I were discussing how wonderful being a part of the hand tool woodworking community has been for us. We've met so many wonderful people of extremely high character and intelligence and we have friends literally all over the world as a result of our business pursuit.

We even spent our 40th wedding anniversary at HandWorks this past year and thought nothing of it except that it was very fitting to celebrate among the people that have meant so much to us.

Unfortunately you have to take the bad with the good and this week we've received reports of the rapid decline of our wonderful friend Fred West. Many of you saw the tribute to Fred not long ago on the Lost Art Press blog. None of us had a clue that things would change so rapidly for Fred. We've been told that at this point it's just a matter of time before Fred will be leaving this world. He's at home resting comfortably.

Myself, Fred and Mike Peters at Handworks, in the box was a plane that Fred commissioned me to make as a gift for Mike, Yep, he was that kind of guy

When I was last in Fred's presence we were sitting in the family room at the home of Jameel Abraham and family the day after HandWorks. Don Williams was giving a pictorial review of the occasion when he performed the restoration of the Mace of the United States House of Representatives. Fred and the rest of us were very privileged to witness this personal presentation and it was a special time for all present.

My first inclination was to travel to West Chester, Pa. to see Fred but given the level of pain medication that Fred is being given he most likely would not know I was present. Many of us will suffer from this same dilemma and for those I suggest you just think back to last time you spent time with Fred and cherish the memory of our wonderful friend. I'm sure that will be quite okay with Fred, he was always a giver and he did so graciously with no expectations.

I hate blogging with a heavy heart and presenting bad news is never fun, but like I stated have take the bad with the good.


At approximately 1:30 pm on this day Fred passed surrounded by Friends, Family........and his tools

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