Harold Underhill*, like Tolkien, went to the Great War and came back changed. His gentle clear instructions still guide my hand as i build from scratch – wood plank on frame to silver soldering and rigging. 

Like Tolkien, Harold Underhill has long left for the stars, but he has left a little of himself in this imperfect world.

Today i cannot attend the funeral for a hiking companion who died unexpectedly, quarantine has me nailed in place. Instead, i have spent the day repairing the small things within my grasp, taking Harold’s practical advice on cleaning (put wood out into the rain and let it sun dry), and practicing flash. And remembering that no one leaves us completely, while we remember.

*Underhill: Plank on Frame Models, Vols 1&2, Glasgow, 1958


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