I was unfortunate enough at an early age to be diagnosed with what is now called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Fortunately, I was sent half-days to a school in Rush, NY, called Harris Green. It was a vocational type school for "youts" with issues similar to mine. One of the classes I took was Blacksmith Shop under the tutelage of Mr. Tom McLaren, a farrier and smith in his own right. I caught the bug when I was 12 or 13 and never really shook it.
Brief family history: my uncle, H Peter Andrews, has been an artist-blacksmith for several decades. My grandfather, Bernell Andrews, was a blacksmith sometimes in his day. There were others, tracking back to before my scots ancestors were imprisoned by Brits and sold into slavery in the colonies. There are many generations of smiths in my background. I'm certainly not going to let it die with me.
I completed high school, then college, joined the military to pay off my student loans, managed restaurants, supervised security details, the became a corrections officer. I'm currently assigned to one you've heard of, especially if you recall what happened near a small village in Wyoming County, NY, in Sept. 1971. I've tried to restart my forge a few times. Had one together and decided we needed a divorce. Lately I've been helping my uncle with historical demos at various venues including The Great New York State Fair, while trying to juggle work, being a single father, something of a social life, and putting together a suitable forge.
(If you know anyone up this way who'd like to get rid of a 20-40ft shipping container for cheap, I'm interested.)
Looking forward to getting to know some folks on here, learn some things, and get out my frustrations on some hot steel.