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A Table for a Lifetime

A Table for a Lifetime
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The impact of Naked Table was all around me the following day in downtown Woodstock. As a slight drizzle fell, our new tables were lined up end to end down the center of Middle Bridge for a feast of locally made roasted-beet salad and slowly poached chicken breast. Grace and I sat down at my table, which was still less than 24 hours removed from its last sanding and final coat of finish. Seated next to us were all the people who’d played a part in its creation. There was Richard Wright, whose sawmill had cut and dried the lumber. Next to him was Bryce Limlaw, who’d cut down the timber. And across from Limlaw sat Dave Dugdale, who’d machined and milled the finished table pieces. They congratulated me on my new table, and we chatted about the role it would play in my young family. The story of these tables was being rounded out for them, too. “Most of my work is contract manufacturing for other companies,” Dugdale told me later. “I never get to meet the end customer. So to meet the customer and find out how they’re going to use the table, that’s very cool.”

Our new family table fit seamlessly into our kitchen. “It’s like it’s always been there,” Grace said. Two months later, in late October, our son, Calvin, was born. We’ve had some family meals around it, but its main role has been to serve more immediate needs: as a repository for mail, a temporary landing spot for newly washed baby clothes, a place from which to unpack our groceries. It also serves as a surface where we can prop Calvin up in his infant rocker. He babbles as we work quickly to make our food. It’s early, but I take that as a sign that he likes what his dad has made. I hope so, anyway. Someday, after all, it will be his.

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