Dum dum da da da dum dum da da

We never schedule trips to Houghton Lake *because* of Black Iron Days at Harwick Pines State Park. But if we happen to be up here during Black Iron Days, we try to get up there to check it out. I took a few photos there today but I don’t feel like posting them all. This one was the “money shot” if I had one.

As I was backing up to get this photo, an elderly gentleman approached. I had stumbled over the word for the ovens/devices that the blacksmiths use to work their iron. He had overheard me and gently reminded me that the word was “forge” (well, duuuuuh, KW). We got to talking to him and he mentioned that his 17-year-old grandson was one of the blacksmiths at the event. I was thinking that maybe the kid got his skills from his grandad but no no no. This young man has been fascinated by iron work since he was a young child and has worked with a blacksmith neighbor to learn the trade. It was not a skill passed down through the family.

We talked a little bit about practice and perseverance, and how hard it could be for young people to learn a skill without getting discouraged because things weren’t happening as fast as a kid might want them to happen. My brain was resonating with this, remembering when I was a young musician and somehow glommed on to how to carefully practice scales and arpeggios and tone exercises and and and more than you care about. Other kids may have been bored by those things but I was *driven*. I didn’t say anything to the grandfather about that. I did say that I love when children / teenagers find something they are passionate about and follow it. I didn’t end up making a living out of my childhood passion and maybe this young man won’t either but the fact that I worked as hard as I did on mine has helped make me successful and that kid will probably be so too, whatever he ends up doing for a living.

We mobilized early so as to get to Black Iron Days before the crowds arrived. And they did arrive as we saw when we were decamping from the state park to the Paddle Hard Brewery in Grayling for lunch. And then back to the Cfam cabin and a long, slow, beautiful Pontoon Bote ride for groceries and a bit of sight-seeing.

Oh dear. It is a butt shot. I hope I don’t get into any weird trouble about this. The GG’s butt is actually very skinny and please focus on the bote and the fake lighthouse. Ignore the empty beer can…

I won’t describe what happened as we left Black Iron Days today except that I left first with a “secret” xmas gift for the GG, one that he picked out himself. Then he got distracted at the last moment by a raffle. He bought a ticket and the prize is a forge and a set of tools for operating it. It’s okay with me if he wins it as long as he checks out whatever the Planet Ann Arbor rules are for operating a forge in your backyard.

One Response to “Dum dum da da da dum dum da da”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Sounds like a great day. I love it when teenagers find passions, especially when they are old school like iron work, sewing, canning, etc. My own Ashley discovered sewing and canning in her teens, and knitting and crocheting in her 20s. (none of which interest me one bit) I didn’t even see the beer can until you pointed it out. 😉