Friday, December 31, 2010

Folk Hero




There's someone I'd like you to meet.

This is my friend and coworker Dan. He's a gifted architect who used to work with Alabama's acclaimed Rural Studio. He lives right here in the neighborhood, and you might see him singing at an open mike or biking back and forth to work, or the Y, or one of his favorite corner stores to pick up a jar of peanut butter.

About a year ago he got plunked down into my occasionally punishing workplace as a kind of birthday present. Not because we're so incredibly tight (we're not) or because I think I'll still know him in 10 years (I don't), but because he's the kind of guy who will quietly and without telling a soul step in to design and build 22 beds for a new men's interim-housing shelter.

And because two days after his beloved grandfather died on Christmas morning, he was rifling through his closet and was struck by the simple beauty of a vintage wooden coathanger, and decided to turn it into something more beautiful, which he turned into something even more beautiful:


video

We're about to turn to a new calendar page, and I resolve this year to be more like Dan. If I can also, every once in a while, applaud him after playing a song at a bar, or offer him some tea, or answer one of his tender requests for advice, well, that's no bad thing either.

5 comments:

brian said...

you could always decide to really be like dan this year and enroll in architecture school. all the cool kids are doing it. wishing you all the best as we begin 2011.

Christy said...

Sounds good Brian, because what I need most in the world is another degree. They've really been my ticket to success :-).

Hey, we're really excited for your new gig, even if it takes you far away. Keep us posted on all the details.

Rosemary said...

A coathanger zither! OMG. That is amazing. I will never understand how the minds of highly creative people like this work, but I'm so glad they work like they do--somehow it gives me hope.

tracy said...

An inspiration indeed! I like the idea of taking inspiration from these people, instead of my first impulse, which is just to feel inferior...

leslie said...

What Tracy said. I also like the image in my head of Tracy and Dan playing music around a campfire together, one that we're all at.