In honor of WOOD Magazine’s 25th Anniversary the fall of 2009, we posted 25 Interesting Facts about each of the folks who put out your favorite woodworking magazine. I update the list periodically.
1. We have four children. Sasha is working on her PHD in electrical engineering at Iowa State University. Chelsy is finishing her second year of med school at Iowa. Slade is a senior at Iowa, and Carter is a freshman in Waukee. 2. Most of my time spent making furniture is for our children. The rule is they have to be in the shop helping when we’re working on their piece. I love that time spent with them. Plus, they are all becoming adept woodworkers.
3. My wife is always an inspiration to me. I was very fortunate to find such a partner. Family is the center of our life with our children.
4. I grew up in south-central North Dakota. My summers were spent making hay, checking cattle, and swimming. Winters were cold and windy. Whenever someone complains about an Iowa winter, I think to myself, you have no idea what COLD is.
5. My wife is a pediatric physician’s assistant at Mercy Hospital. She was an RN and went back to school when this field first emerged in the mid 80’s. She was a decade ahead of her time in moving into this profession. Hopefully she’ll want to work long after I decide not to,,,
6. Before coming to WOOD magazine, I worked as a logistics engineer for General Dynamics on the cruise missile in San Diego, California. I wrote manuals on how to take the missile apart and put it back together again. Our how-to instructions at WOOD magazine are actually more accurate.
7. While we were in San Diego, I went snorkeling and diving every chance I got. Some people look at art and see beauty, I look at clear water and want to jump in!
8. My wife and I are foster parents who take children on an emergency basis, often within a few hours of receiving a call. We’ve had six children so far. It is a very humbling experience—and good for our own children—to see how fortunate we are.
9. I enjoy designing and building Greene and Greene-inspired furniture. Our house is now filled with a fine collection of this style.
10. I enjoy a yearly outing with “the boys” hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. There are so many beautiful places to explore. When asked if I’ve ever been to Europe, I think for the cost of that trip I could go to Utah two or three times. I’ve never been to Europe, but to Utah over 20 times.
11. My woodworking shop is complete. My two favorite tools are my tablesaw and mortiser. For Greene and Greene furniture, these two machines can do almost all the joinery needed.
12. I am a big Bruce Springsteen. I play his music in the shop all the time. I don’t think my kids want to hear Born to Run one more time.
13. My wife runs marathons, so we travel to one or two a year in places where we can spend the following week exploring. She has placed in the top three for her age bracket in every marathon she’s run. She even took first for all women in a marathon in Arkansas a few years ago. I’d run, but there always seems to be a good breakfast buffet wherever we’re staying.
14. I am an avid gardener, growing dwarf conifers, daylilies, and irises. I like to say, “I’m big on dwarfs!” Our yard has appeared on several TV installments of Living the Country Life.
15. Growing up and during summers in college I worked on farms. I enjoy teaching our children all the skills of self sufficiency that farmers have. I have the greatest respect for all the abilities farmers need to run their business.
16. My mom made me take piano lessons as a kid. To this day I hate the piano. I wished I would have learned to play something portable like a harmonica or guitar. Try taking a piano on a canoe trip.
17. I have a weakness for Chinese buffets. I can’t cook much, but I’ve become fairly adept at stir frying.
18. I started an online woodworking subscription service that broke even after 3 issues and was then canned. It was 5 to 10 years ahead of the times.
19. My favorite hiking area is southern Utah. I’ve been to Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Gulch, Snow Canyon, and other areas numerous times. I went canyoneering in Zion two falls ago. We named our youngest child Carter Zion Kemmet.
20. My favorite TV shows are the CSI series, Pickers, Pawn Stars, and The Mentalist. I never have to use a TV guide to know when The Mentalist is on or whether it’s new or a re-run. I just seem to know…
21. Our oldest daughter Sasha and her husband became certified divers two years ago. Now we can dive together. Two years ago Sasha and I dove several reefs off Cozumel.
22. I am an avid woodturner, and turn mostly in the winter. I give most of my turnings away as gifts. My wife has turnings in nearly every available storage area in the house. She doesn’t want any more. She gives them away when I’m not around.
23. I’ve gone llama packing several times. They carry 70 pounds of camping equipment a lot farther than I ever could. I’ve never had one spit. They are a great animal to work with. Our best trip with them was into the Wind River Range in Wyoming, flyfishing.
24. When I was 13 (1970) my father bought a huge Massey Ferguson snowmobile. This was years before they were sleek and lightweight. I needed to use both hands to pull the start cord, so I’d stick the thumb of my glove in the throttle to give it some gas. One warm North Dakota day (must have been at least 20 above) near the end of winter, it started on the first pull and took off (without me). It went several miles before running out of gas. When I told my father he remarked, “Good thing I didn’t fill it with gas before I went to work.” Then he made me go out and fix all the barbed-wire fences it had gone through.
25. One of my interests is inflatable kayaking. I’ve had the opportunity to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho, the Yellowstone River in Montana, the Colorado River in Colorado, and the St. Louis River in Minnesota. Slowly I’m getting our kids into it too.
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