When Danny Proulx was about a third done writing his book, “50 Shop-Made Jigs & Fixtures,” he suddenly passed away. He was at a woodworking show in Ottawa, Ontario, doing what he loved to do best – teaching and talking woodworking.
Well, that left me in an interesting spot – I could cancel the book or somehow get it finished. It happened that Danny had one of his students from Algonquin College as an assistant shop worker. His name is Luc Rousseau. I called Luc and asked him if he’d be interested in finishing Danny’s book. There was silence for a long time. Then he said, “I could possibly do it if I had some help.”
After some discussion, Luc and I decided that we could finish the book, with the help of Danny’s father-in-law, Jack Chaters (who was the cameraman at the time). So, I high-tailed it up to Russell, Ontario and met the guys.
As we (Luc, Jack and I) were standing in the middle of Danny’s shop, pretty much in the dark (mentally, not physically. Danny had so much lighting in his shop you needed sun block and sunglasses to enter it.) about what to do next, that’s when we felt it – Danny’s ghost. Danny was a fairly big guy in this life and his ghost was equally formidable. We all stood there and it became clear where Danny wanted us to go. We went into his office and there, in the file cabinet, was his completed outline for this book!
After that, we simply filled in the blanks by building the jigs and fixtures he had already chosen. Luc was very much relieved and Jack started laughing. He said, “This doesn’t surprise me in the least, Danny was so organized that he left nothing to chance – not even his own demise.”
So, under the tutelage of Danny’s ghost and a couple of good guys, we completed Danny’s book.