Dan Walter, Eagle America’s founder writes:
Well friends, it’s that time of year again. Each and every holiday that our country honors our military has a special meaning for me. Unfortunately some of the more serious ones turn out to be a great excuse for many retailers to offer you the opportunity to part with your money. Like many of you, some I have come to accept or embrace while others I have a hard time with. Such is the case with Memorial Day. A few weeks ago we celebrated Armed Forces Day. On this day we pay thanks to all those men and women who are actively serving our country. In November, we celebrate Veterans Day, where we pay thanks to those who have served on our behalf. Today, on Memorial Day, we pay homage to those brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives defending our great country in order to preserve our precious freedoms.
As a young boy I was in the high school marching band. Every year we would parade down the streets of our town and I would bang the big bass drum trying to keep everyone in step. As we passed the reviewing stand, the members would stand and salute our flag. At the end of the parade route was Memorial Park where we circled a big American Flag that always seemed to be blowing in the breeze. We played a march or two for the “old” soldiers that showed up that day to hear us play. After that, the town pool was open, summer had officially begun and we were on our merry way home.
Now I am one of those old soldiers, a proud veteran who served our country during a time when war was not popular or supported by our government or the general public.
I can go to cemeteries or memorial walls and see the names of friends of mine that died in combat. I am also the son of an immigrant who came here to this country before World War II. After being here for only a few years, Dad was shipped back to Europe in an Army uniform and fought in the streets of his childhood home town for The United States of America. He is no longer here, I miss him more each day, but I still admire his service to our country.
So on this special day, I ask that you just take a moment and think about all of those who gave their lives for your freedom. You can freely start up your barbeque, jump in a pool, watch a parade and listen to the marching band, or have a hot dog with your grandson at the ball park thanks to their sacrifices. In honor of those who served to keep our country free, all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Dan, Eagle Ameirca’s founder writes:
Well that was exciting! There we were, Linda and I on Friday night sitting at home in Ohio watching the live auction in Philadelphia of the family Nakashima furniture on the internet. The web site was cool. They showed a photo of the item being auctioned with a digital display (similar to car odometer) at the bottom showing you the “live” bidding amounts. On the right side of the screen they showed you whether it was a live “floor” bid or “internet”. When the pace of the bidding started to slow they told you to bid faster and then gave you a warning sign when the bidding on each item was about to close. Then came the final bid and then “sold” and on to the next photo. It only took about 20 minutes for all six groups to be sold off.
The most interesting was the slab coffee table above , a signature George Nakashima piece. Bidding started at $7,500 and quickly sold for $16,000! Needless to say, Mom was pleased when I told her the results of the auction.
Like I said in my blog post below, it was sad to see the heirlooms go. Hopefully they will all go to a family that will cherish and preserve them the way my family had done for over 40 years. My next project is find a nice slab and try to build one just like it.
Will keep you posted
Dan, Eagle Ameirca’s founder writes:
The family Nakashima Furniture goes to auction! It was a very sad day in the Walter Family Household yesterday. In the process of putting my mother into assisted living it became necessary to “dispose” of her fine collection of George Nakashima furniture that she has had since 1964. I have written about this furniture in a previous blog post and how it inspired me to create the Butterfly Spline router bit.
I can still remember being a little boy growing up in New Jersey, when we went for a car ride one Saturday with my parents over to Mr. Nakashima’s barn to help select an unusual piece of wood that would later be made into one of the most unique coffee tables the world has very seen.
Now I am writing this to you from my mom’s apartment. I am sitting at a portable card table. The room is bare. It reminds me of when you sell a car that you put 100,000 miles on. You think of all the good trips you had.
I think of all the great family dinners we had around the trestle table or the “cocktail hours” we had sitting on the couch eating cheese and crackers from the top of the coffee table. Mom was reminding me how as a boy my brothers and I use to get a kick out pitching a tennis ball through the big open hole in it. And then the grandkids picked that up as well.
The furniture went to Briggs Auction company www.briggsauction.com and will be auctioned off on May 20th. The bidders and final proud owners will surely appreciate not only the furniture but the original signed drawings that George made of each piece along with the original bill of sales. Truly collector’s items. We have been told that they expect about 600 people to attend. I hope to be there as well.
Over the years, many of you have written to me about your Nakashima pieces. You may want to check out their web site and see how these pieces fare.
It’s funny how pieces of furniture can be seen as good old friends of the family.
Gone but not forgotten.