No, this is not an obituary (but it feels a bit like one). You see, Glen D. Huey, senior editor, has decided to leave Popular Woodworking Magazine as a staff member and go back to building furniture full time. He’ll be staying on for another month or so. You’ll still see his work in the magazine; he’ll be (once again) a contributing editor. But I’m sad, because not a day goes by at work without his making me laugh; Glen makes work fun. (He also has multiple cats; we can relate.)
Glen’s first published project was in the November 1997 issue, and he’s been writing for the magazine ever since. In 2006, he joined the staff full time as a senior editor, and quickly became our power-tool guy – which is funny, because as far as his work goes, one of the things I admire most about Glen is his incredible speed at making a sh*tload of dovetails (his next piece, a Pennsylvania spice box that will grace the cover of the August issue, has 122 of them, if I recall correctly) – and he uses a fancy Klaus & Pedder dovetail saw to cut them (OK – he’s been known to use the band saw and scroll saw, too). And he’s amassed a…dare I call it a collection?…of antique hand tools, and an awfully nice working set of new ones (he has a penchant for shiny Bridge City things). But the man does love his table saws; I think he had four in his shop at last count. And three band saws.
I know Glen will be awfully happy to be back in that shop, spending more time building period reproduction furniture and less time sitting in meetings, less time answering e-mail, and far less time listening to me bug him about his writing.
But that last one is his own fault. Glen, you see, is the best writing student I’ve ever had, so I can’t but want to help him improve more with every story. Unlike the majority of my many freshman composition students over the years (my apologies to them if any are reading), Glen listens to and fully embraces everything I or Chris has ever told him (about writing, anyway), remembers it, then puts it in practice – sometimes with amusing results (sorry Glen!). A few years back, I mentioned that it’s best not to overuse the gerund form because too many “ings” can make a story seem less active. I don’t think there was one gerund in his next article – even where there should have been. (He’s now on good terms with the present participle; I’m very proud.)
I have not repaid him in kind (and I still owe him a cheesecake). Every time I’ve asked Glen to explain a woodworking technique to me, he’s been happy to help – but he’s had to explain the same operations to me time and again, which he’s without fail done cheerfully. Every time I’ve needed to spray a finish on a piece of furniture, Glen has hauled it out to his shop and either sprayed it for me, or helped me with the process. Every time I’ve had a weekend router bit question, Glen has picked up his phone to answer. And every time I’ve had a large piece of furniture to haul home, Glen has loaded it in his truck and driven far out of his way to deliver it.
He is an incredibly generous and very funny man; I’m going to miss working him every day (though I suspect I can talk him into a monthly lunchtime repast of cheese fries with gravy*). While his position will be filled, I don’t think Glen can be replaced.
* Don’t judge – it’s good!