Paul's Gift: Rocks
My late son Paul was baptized in Saint Philip Church in 2000 during an emergency trip to Cleveland, Ohio. He was air flighted from Minneapolis, MN to Cleveland Clinic to receive treatment for Pompe's Disease. Paul showed improvement after treatment; however, it was short-lived. Paul passed in March 2002 from complications from the metabolical disorder, Pompe's Disease (Google details about the disease).
After Paul's death, I started looking for a tribute to commemorate his life – a tribute that I could display in my home. So, I shopped national retailers, trendy crafts stores and local “mom and pop” shops – trying to find a unique tribute for my son to display in my home. But I couldn't find anything. So, I decided to make something to honor my son. I didn't know what it would be, but was determined to come up with something unique.
At the time - March 2002, I was working at Ford selling cars and trucks wearing a suit and tie. After Paul passed, I could no longer project the enthusiasm and smiles the position required and was tired of the suit and tie. So I quit and decided to work in construction. Something inside told me immersed in this environment I would get ideas.
At work sites there was always a lot of left over scrap wood that we threw away. After getting Dean's approval (the site manager), I started gathering scrap wood. First, I piled it in my car and then my garage in Maple Grove, Minnesota. I kept stockpiling scrap wood, not knowing how I was going to use it to make something for Paul.
Then, over a five-month period, I observed a series of unrelated settings in which rocks and stones were used in a variety of ways. These settings included yard-landscaping, gravel in a parking lot and homes accentuated with rocks. Then, one sunny afternoon, during a road trip from Ohio to Minnesota, I stopped at a Wisconsin rest stop welcome center. I went in the rest stop, used the rest room and bought some food for the road.
Walking out the rest stop, I noticed a bench accentuated with stone and a coordinating trash container nearby. It was there that I got the idea to make rock crafts. Hummm, I thought… on the way in I didn't notice the bench or trash container accentuated with stones - but on the way out I did (just a thought). By the grace of God, I used my God given imagination, blended these settings and started making rock crafts like the ones shown herein.
My late son Paul inspired the first stone craft and the last. This is Paul's gift; without his passing I would have never embarked on a crusade to create something to honor him. I would have never observed rock use, or made or thought about making rock decor.
When friends visited my home and saw the stone tribute I made for Paul, they'd say “Wow… That's unique.” And they always asked, “Where did you get that?” I told them I made it. Friends suggested I participate in crafts shows and art fairs. They told their friends and people started asking me make stone décor for them. And I never quit.
I sold my rock crafts at flea markets Minnesota from 2003 to 2006. Thereafter, I sold my stone decor at arts & crafts shows, cabin shows, home & garden shows, holiday fairs, bridal shows and more! I entered my rock crafts in county and state fairs. I won eight (8) ribbons: five red ribbons, two white ribbons and a pink ribbon. I never won the top prize - a blue ribbon. As of this date, I plan to keep entering fairs until I take home the blue. I'll keep you posted.
- Spencer Martin, Veteran US Air Force
Founder, America Rocks, LLC