Thursday, January 18, 2018

September-October 2014 – Message from the Guildmaster

November 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster


2014 Executive Committee Meeting. Left to right, Ed Long, Dick Toone and Art DeCamp. Photo by R. Young.

It’s Saturday, 18th October at 6:30 AM and I leave the house to drive to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to meet with the Executive Committee members of the Horn Guild. I haven’t eaten and plan on the egg and sausage sandwich purchased on the Pennsylvania Turnpike maybe an hour away. Traffic is light and moving fast for the few of us on a mission or going to work. I’m leaving Burlington County, New Jersey south east of Trenton twelve miles from the Delaware river. A short time enroute I’m at the rest area at Valley Forge. Grab a sandwich, coffee and sticky bun. I do not need gasoline because I filled up yesterday at $2.75 a gallon in New Jersey. Back on the pike going West at 70 mph legal posted speed enjoying my breakfast and the sunlight from the East starts to bathe the autumn trees in a bright blast of light sideways making their color and fullness of their leaves stand out more than when the sun is overhead. Magnificant!

So life is good in a comfortable car eating tasty warm food and beautiful woods and farmlands floating past. Passing Reading exit reminded me of their Pennsylvania Rifle show a couple of years ago and the Berks County Reading area powder horn I recently made on the springpole lathe. Past Daniel Boone’s homestead, signs for Lancaster and Lititz, home of so many great long rifle builders including my favorite, J.P.Beck. With so many sign reminders of our rich history I can not help but marvel at my situation in life this morning and think how different times were when these names were initiated. I’m on a super highway, in the process of needed repairs at places, roughly parallel to the Lancaster Pike (Route 30) that Conestoga wagons drawn by oxen crawled back and forth to Philadelphia at maybe 10 miles a day 200+ years ago. When the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened in the late 1940′s it was the longest continuous paved road in America. People made adventure vacations just driving on it from Philadelphia to Pittsburg and back.

I see the sign for Ephrita Cloister that my wife Regina and I visited on the day before arriving at Ft. Roberdeau Thursday a week ago. The “Rifle Frolic, Market Fair and Juried Crafter” event was well organized representative of good planning, with good food and lots of helping hands. The weather was great this year and the visitors and their children reflected that middle American values of curiosity, politeness and well mannered children still exist. I was set up in the fort with the Horn Guild lathe right next to Blacksmith Brian Anderson and his wife Lausanne who makes wonderful tapes on her tape loom. I got some iron work I needed right out of the forge. Great event.

Our Executive meeting ran from 9:30 AM to 3PM with a short break at noon lunch. Our finances are in good shape and our membership is up. We resolved to make membership in the Guild and attainment of Journeyman and Master accomplishments more recognizable with ceremony and prizes. We agreed we can support financially the publication of another book project of importance utilizing a collection and lifetime study of powder horns by Dr. Jay Hopkins. We entertained outside information on how to possibly increase, or not, public participation at our yearly meeting. All in all the Guild is like a great steam engine developing more power to pull a bigger load over a longer distance one chug at a time. More detailed information of the Executive Committee meeting is fodder for future discussion.

Home was accomplished in 2 1/2 hours 148 miles. Simply amazing! From a historical perspective.

Dick Toone



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