As many of you have likely heard, the New Yankee Workshop has just announced that the current season will be their last. I have to say, that is sad news to me. Norm Abram, the Yankee at the center of the workshop, has been such a positive influence on woodworking, for so many years, that his absence will be significant. (He will be continuing with the This Old House show.) I am confident that there are a good number of folks out there who are making sawdust and enjoying the craft due primarily to the influence of Norm and the NYW.
Although the power of the television media is surely one of the reasons that Norm has become a household name, it is the man behind the persona that I feel made the difference. While Norm and I are not good buddies, I have talked to him often enough to know that what you see is what you get. I had the good fortune one day to interview him for the Journal, and in the middle of some serious questions, I teased him by asking him if there were any woodworking projects at home that his wife was waiting for him to complete. There was laughter throughout the workshop, Norm got a good chuckle out of it and then answered the question, straight up. (Not currently, but there had been a couple …)