Ed is a retired concert violinist, but I know him as my woodturning buddy. He lives about a mile from my home here in Indianapolis, and I visit him occasionally. We share stories about our woodturning adventures and occasionally swap wood and tall tales.
Many years ago, Ed retired his violin to the storage closet, replacing it with a lathe and some turning tools. That's how I came to know him, through our local woodturning club and mutual interest. I've never heard him play music, except for the kind that's made as a sharp tool cuts through wet wood. Turning is his hobby and passion in his retirement years.
Ed has had a few medical problems these past years, but one thing that has sustained him and given him the will to live is the knowledge that he can still retreat to his basement shop and putter around with machines and wood. He's had to give up smoking cigars and chewing tobacco, but inhaling wood dust is still all right. It's good for what ails him.
Ed's wife Carol always knows what to buy him for birthdays and holidays: wood, woodturning books or tools. He subscribes to every publication that even mentions the word "woodturning." He lets me borrow the ones I don't already have. Carol is also a retired concert violinist, and her hobbies are many, but primarily sewing. Wow! She can make a sewing machine sing!
My father's hobby was playing poker and fishing, but he gave up those activities gradually over the past 10 years. Somehow poker and fishing didn't sustain him in his advanced years. Perhaps it was because he couldn't just simply retire to his workshop? Or maybe there wasn't the support network available? I'm not sure the answer, but I do know that if the opportunity had presented itself, I would have taught him woodturning.