Chris Schwarz's Blog

Dr. Adkins's Shop, Revisited

Usually I keep my pretty pink
panties – how ever did you know? –  completely un-wadded, un-bunched and
lying smoothly across my muppet-like hiney. I hope you’re not eating
lunch right now.

But the reaction I’ve received to the slideshow I
posted last week of my visit to Dr. Kent Adkins’s shop in St. Louis has
me agitated. I’d like to get a few things off my chest.

• To the
people who blame Dr. Adkins for the high cost of medical care, I
recommend that the next time you have a serious problem with your
equipment in your bathing suit area that you try to fix the problem
yourself. Or maybe your neighbor has some tools you can borrow for the
job.

• To the people who think I’m throwing Dr. Adkins under a
bus because of the slideshow, I say this: I consider Kent a friend. I’ve
known him for many years and would do nothing to harm him. That
slideshow is only one component of the story. The rest is in the
February 2011 issue.

• To the cowards who post inflammatory
comments anonymously here, I’ll be dealing with you in short order. I
don’t mind criticism, but I do like to face my accuser.

• To the
people who think Kent’s shop is too clean: The photos were taken before a
small open house party Kent was having for friends and neighbors. You’d
sweep up, too. The implication here is that Kent is just a tool
collector, which is laughable. The guy attacks woodworking with a
passion that would shame most of us. I know few people in the world as
insane for the craft as Kent. He’s been a woodworker all his life. When
he was a poor medical student, he was working wood with the tools he
could afford. Today the situation is no different.

Here’s how I
see things: Kent has spent his entire life helping people at a difficult
job. If you don’t like doctors, don’t whine to me – my father was a
doctor and I know first-hand how hard it is. It’s a job I don’t think I
could ever do. And now Kent has built a well-planned, well-equipped and
well-earned shop that he can use to fill his house with furniture for
his young family.

That’s a typical story. What’s not typical is
that Kent out-did us all with his energy and attention to detail. That’s
why I wrote the story.

I’m sorry this turned into a rant. I
despise writing about stuff that isn’t about woodworking. But people who
turn woodworking into class warfare just ruin my day.

— Christopher Schwarz

COMMENT