Carpentry (156)

My America

trips

On a trip to Nevada, Utah, and Arizona in 1989

This political nightmare we’ve been going through for some months now may have led me to choosing the subject for my next book.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do after Small Homes:

  • 50 Years of Natural Building
  • A book on my trips
  • A book on barns

Some kind of context for the 10,000+ photos I’ve taken over the years.

The idea about a book on the U.S.A. popped into my head a few days ago. This would be my version of America. It would start with me riding the rails and hitchhiking from San Francisco to New York in 1965, along with a copy of Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous — seeking enlightenment, if you will, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life — as the cultural revolution of the ’60s–’70s unfolded. (Upon return a month later, I quit my job as an insurance broker and went to work as a builder.)

I would show the America that I love, the people in every state who were kind and friendly and helpful, Pop’s Diner in Page, Arizona; pressmen at Courier Printing in Kendallville, Indiana; squirrel hunters in Tennessee; the waitress in an Oklahoma diner serving me coconut cream pie with coffee at 2:30 AM; farmers, surfers, skateboarders, lawyers, and bankers (yes — there are some good ones); book lovers, musicians, builders; makers…

This just may be the next book: the glass-half-full take on America.

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Jay Nelson and Friends Visit Godfrey Stephens in Victoria, BC Yesterday

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Photo by Godfrey Stephens

Jay and 3 surfers are on a surf/photo trip on Vancouver Island for a Surfer’s Journal article, traveling in a camper Jay built. Yesterday they visited Godfrey. In this photo (Jay at left), they’re looking into the cabin of Godfrey’s latest sailboat. I’m hoping they get a chance to visit Godfrey’s best friend, master builder and surfer Bruno Atkey.

Both Godfrey and Bruno are featured in our book Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Jay’s San Francisco home is featured in our forthcoming book Small Homes.

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Gary and Luann's Treehouse

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img_5389Hey Lloyd!

I can’t wait for the new book. I’m ready for another dose of inspiration.

I just finished a treehouse in our backyard. The place in Haleiwa that Tom brought you to. I used as much recycled materials as possible. All siding from Fort Shafter, windows from the 1930’s, sinks, bathroom fixtures, toilet, shower stall is $90 stock tank from Lowe’s. I made the front door from a couple 4×6’s, cabinets are from old Douglas fir siding and an 8×8 I milled. I welded the stairs and made the rail from mahogany flooring.

Later,
–Gary and Luann

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