34 Years ago, right after graduating from college, I signed up for an adult education class in Sign Carving at my old high school in Concord, Massachusetts. The instructor, Steve Baldwin, was Concord’s #1 sign carver in the traditional craft so common in New England. I was learning from a master. For my very first sign, I designed a sign for my home-away-from-home, Camp Sewataro. I had worked there for many summers, and the Taylor family who ran the camp, had become my second family.
So over a period of about 6 weeks, meeting once a week, I design and carved, with chisels and mallet, the camp sign which would hold a highly visible vantage point by the camp entrance for the next 34 years.
A couple of weeks ago, I visited my good friends at Camp Sewataro. There was the old sign still looking pretty darn good after braving the elements for so long. (In the interest of full disclosure, they had protected her with plexiglass, and done periodic maintenance on her, but she still looked very good.) As the camp comes to a close this season, the old sign will be retired to the Camp Office to hang indoors on the wall for the rest of her life. That sign was the first of many, and the one I am most proud of.
Here is a picture of a brown-haired Melinda carving a sign in fir for the Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents of Baltimore back in early 1980’s
I’m not carving as often as I used to, but it’s nice to know the signs are holding up through the years.