It is a truism that every new friendship brings the certainty of joy and sorrow. Our community of woodworking lost two good souls this last week, and we will be less because of it. Both men died suddenly and far too young. One of them you probably have heard of and likely learned some woodworking from. The other was one of the many folks who form the fabric of our woodworking communtiy, but are not well-known to the general public.
Steve Quayle, Director of Marketing for Delta Machinery, died last week in an automobile accident. Steve is someone I will miss very much. He had roots here in Minnesota, so we often talked about Vikings football and other foolishness, as well as what was going on in the woodworking industry at large. He left behind three young children and a host of friends and family who will sorely miss him. And I know that his comrades at Delta and Porter-Cable are shocked and saddened at his loss as well.
Roger Cliffe, one of the seminal voices in woodworking, passed away last week as well. I last talked to Roger at a woodworking show in Chicago last April. He was hale and hearty and bent my ear for a good while. Opinions came easily to Roger and he was always glad to share them … and I’m a good listener. So you can see that we got along pretty well. His table saw book has been essential reading for years and his regular column in Woodshop News was an industry standard. Roger was riding his bicycle and suffered a heart attack, from which he did not recover. His voice will be missed among those of us who love woodworking.
So, to Steve’s family and friends as well as Roger’s, we here at the Woodworker’s Journal offer our most sincere sympathy and condolences. In the natural world, autum’s arrival reminds us of the cycle of life leading to death. And so it is with friendship, that sadness is a partner to joy.
Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal
PS: Since I wrote this editorial, the plane hijackings and the subsequent horrible attacks and deaths in New York and Washington DC have occurred. It is with a deep feeling of sadness that I offer our support and condolences to the families of those lost in this tragic series of events. It is at times such as these that the quality and the very best of the human spirit is called on. I have no doubt that we will be more than able to meet these challenges.