Other People's Videos.I got an email recently from Highland Woodworking about a video series they posted on their YouTube Chanel called "Reclaiming Our History." This video was created by Mr. Lee Tigner of Early American Furnishings and is part of his overarching goal to connect people with our colonial American history through the furniture he makes and the material he uses to create his pieces. These videos are available on his YouTube Chanel here: Lee Tigner YouTube, but I wanted to post them here because I think what he is doing is such a great concept.
Hang on, this gets a little preachy and isn't very "woodworky"... yeah, maybe just watch the videos...
Very often in my conversations and travels, I find that people in America feel distanced from the roots and history of this country. Maybe that is because so many people, unfortunately, find history more boring than standing in line at the DMV while listening to Air Supply. A different reason may be due to the tumultuous beginnings America endured. Just between the years of 1780 and 1900 America saw two wars with Great Britain, countless battles with Native Americans, America's initial embrace with and then repulsion of slavery, a civil war, a war with Mexico, and a war with Spain. America's beginnings were extremely bloody and for arguments sake I'll agree that the ruby-red was not always spilled on the side of righteousness; perhaps this is one reason so many people choose to avoid learning U.S. history.
Additionally, I think that our melting pot society is a part of what makes our country so great. The variety of cultural backgrounds involved in our country's history has provided us with the unique opportunity to draw from the best minds and most amazing cultural practices in the world. A large drift away from the "I'm an American first" mentality has encouraged people to identify less with any sort of American heritage and more with a specific cultural history. I think cultural history is extremely important as it helps us identify with our ethnic heritages and traditions but as Americans, we all share a beautiful common history that it would be a shame to loose due to lack of interest.
The issue I raise is that when we choose to forget where we have come from, we also choose to forget those great people who worked their fingers raw to build this great nation. Those people who worked tirelessly to cut timber, smelt iron, lay railroad track, construct buildings and perform countless other tasks that laid the foundation literally and figuratively for America to grow and flourish. By learning their stories we can also learn from their mistakes and successes and apply them to our lives. Imagine the additional forest land we could have today if the early settlers and the first loggers knew that trees were not a limitless bounty. These are the types of lessons we should learn from our ancestors.
Okay enough hysteria from the ranting lunatic with no credibility.
Mr. Tigner is working to preserve and reconnect people to a part of American history that is all but lost. Check out these videos, they are really interesting and the work he is doing to recover this lumber is awesome!