The 1960’s and 1970’s were slow times for the stained-glass industry. Many main line Studios went under, only to have their names resurrected in the future. My father Decided to downsize, streamline and keep going. I applaud him for this.
In 1970, my father closed down the, then 72 year old stained glass studio on South Grand, and built a smaller version onto the back of our house in the woods of Kirkwood. I was a young boy then but remember it fairly well. It started one night with my dad, seemingly out of the blue and without warning, taking a saw and cutting a great big hole in the back wall of our family room. The part that used to be wall fell to the ground one story below with a great big thump! All of us kids, me being the youngest, just stood in the opening, looking down into the woods below and listening to the crickets. I don’t remember any of us saying anything. He just seemed to be done for the night.
Now what this meant is that I grew up in a glass factory full of kilns, saws, old fashioned paint shakers and, of course, broken glass everywhere. Add to this, my teenage summer jobs were on ladders and scaffolding on the sides of churches.
Amazingly, I never got seriously hurt. I did learn that the world was a dangerous place. I was not fearful of it, I just learned that you have to be vigilant. I have spent a lifetime doing things that people think of as scary, but learned that if you are vigilant and thinking, you could get away with dangerous feats. One major lesson that I could give others is to never be afraid to pull the plug. I would start down the path of many foolhardy undertakings and at some point, stop and say to myself “this is not a good idea”. There were failures in my calculations from time to time. Many of them making good blog stories.