There are three things we really need to get through life…
A family that loves you. A strong belief in yourself and your deity – if you so choose. And, great friends.
That’s why I like the folks I hang out with. I’ve met many fellow woodworkers in person (and, I know we’ve shared a few libations at places such as the Hofbrauhaus in Newport, Kentucky), and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you. I also have a bunch of friends in my neighborhood, and those I have met in my professional career. One of the people who I have forged a great bond with is my friend Bob. This guy is a public information officer at another agency here in the Tampa Bay area, and we always work closely on projects – especially hurricane preparedness.
Bob, his wonderful wife Pam and their daughter Caroline are always a ball to hang out with. We’ve gone to the beach together, bowling – heck, Bob has even rented a boat and taken us out on it. Lots of fun.
The best fun, however, happens at Bob’s house. Once a year (it’s actually coming up soon), Pam makes the ultimate Italian feast – a Timpano. Never heard of it? You should. It’s a delicious concoction of goodness – meatballs, sausage, pasta, gravy, cheeses.. the works – wrapped in a crust and baked. Even better, rent the movie the Big Night and check out the last half hour of the movie.. and don’t do it on an empty stomach.. you will be very hungry after! While Pam is out in the kitchen riding herd on the food, Bob is the man in charge of the wine.
No, not THAT wine… good stuff. Amarones from Italy. California Zinfandels. Delicious stuff. In order to make the ambiance complete, Pam has sewn the obligatory red and white checked Italian restaurant tablecloth, and Bob has obtained a pair of candle holders shaped in the form of wine bottles. That, unfortunately, is where the trouble came in.
You see, they are shaped like wine bottles with no bottoms. When you put them over lit candles, there’s not enough air flow to keep them burning. Bob was puzzled as to how to keep them burning, when he hit on an idea. He asked me for some advice, and I told him to go ahead with the plan.
Basically, he picked up a piece of maple and cut some short pieces. Not bad for using a circular saw… Using only glue, he built a bit of a grid as a stand for each of the holders to provide some airflow. He wiped on a little bit of polyurethane to seal the wood, and at last year’s timpano night, they made their big debut. The candles burned like a champ, and the ambiance was nothing short of fantastic.
As we ate the delicious – and copious amounts of – food, I told Bob, “You know I have to take pictures of this and post it on my blog.”
He smiled and said, “Come on, man. What are friends for?”