I take great pride in all of the work that I do. Always have. One particularly successful item in the things I now make are what I call “Nottles” – or “needle bottles. The first was for my wife, Cat – she had asked me to make something to keep her fine sewing needles in, the ones that I can’t use. So, the first Nottle (treenware, etui) was for that purpose. Others saw her treasure and wanted one. One of my most successful pieces was born. They grew much longer – up to 18″ deep – and shorter – about 2” high, and people use them for such a variety of purposes. Surprising to me was when people purchased them and then talked about their favorite old pet and that they intended to place the pets ashes in the Nottle! Such a compliment! This has continued all of the time I’ve been making them, all in such great variety of size and profile. The cork stoppered lid is neat to keep things secure. Later, there were three circumstances that ladies purchased one for each of her children to divide the ashes of their husbands for their children! I thought that this must be the supreme compliment of my work. At a show in Albuquerque three years ago a young lady and her Mom visited my booth, lingering quite awhile at the displays of my Nottles. As she was leaving the booth not having purchased anything I asked if she saw anything she liked. She responded that she greatly admired all of my Nottles and could not afford one, adding that she would have used one to place some of the ashes of her husband who had died that week. Well, you can guess what I did. It was a magical and very emotional moment that she and I shared. This had been my proudest moment as a woodworker. However, another moment has overshadowed this one.
This is an example of the boxes that I make. They may be notion boxes – some with trays, cash boxes for people to use for sales, and so on. I never thought of the following purpose, though. Just a few days ago the 90 year old mother of my best old friend of my past had several heart attacks. She and her family lived just a few doors down from where I grew up in Artesia, NM. She is a very proper English lady – a WWII Bride! I’ve cared for her since meeting her for the first time in about 1956. Saturday we visited her and my dear friend Glenn at the Artesia General Hospital. Even in her terminal condition she was bright, thoughtful, and quick witted like no one else. She reminded us of several “episodes” of our past as children. She was so joyous to finally get to meet my wife Cat! When we left she asked me to “Take care of Glenn”. Well, I’ve been his friend since 1956 and would continue to do so. Just yesterday Glenn called to say that his Mom had been telling people that morning that she was going to be “cremated and placed in a Jimmie Hokett box”! This was a remarkable revelation as it had not been discussed at any point. I’ve selected a nice box and offered any that I have for Glenn to use as his Mom wishes. I’ll also turn Nottles to divide some of the ashes for special people if he wishes. This is the very first circumstance that someone living has made such a decision – and I know about it! This is the most reverent and supreme compliment of my work that I’ll ever know. I have pride in my work, and obviously others do too.
BIKES: Well, great news. The defective speedo/tach unit that has been holding my most excellent custom chopper is finally shipping to Chuck Zettner, my builder!!!!!!! I’m so greatly anxious to finally get to ride my bike! It could occur early next week – we’re totally prepared to haul ourselves to Albuquerque and Dawg House Customs to pick it up! It can’t come at a more opportune time as Thursday I meet with my surgeon to set a date for my procedure. I look for great success and a prompt and full recovery.
I’m Very proud of my work and Very proud that this dear 90 year old lady selected me to do her final place. Life is good.