I first met Chris Schwarz right after the war. We were both on the troopship USS Republic sailing from Manila in February of 1946. Chris was a reporter with Stars and Stripes. I was a stagehand closing down operations for USO shows in the Pacific. Fortunately, the fate of the Free World had not been in our hands. We had adjacent berths on the 23-day voyage to San Francisco. We took most meals together. He either had a bad memory or trouble following directions because, all though we agreed on where and when we would meet for meals, I usually had to track him down.
I last saw him on the gangplank leaving the ship. We were walking off together with me recalling all the ways to prepare shrimp. Then he was just gone. I had no idea of what happened to him.
I next ran into him in rural North Carolina at Ray Underwood’s Woodwrights School. Chris was there taking a class on dovetails and mortise and tenon joinery. I had just been appointed the interim head groundskeeper and maintenance chief. We talked about old times and lifted a few to celebrate. He promised he’d call but left town before I could give him my number.
(Little known fact is that Lizzie Borden offed her parents by bashing them with an Underwood #7 typewriter. Ray has been given several.)
We then would run into each other and the monthly meetings of the Upper Ohio Valley chapter of the Trilateral Commission. He edited the newsletter and I manned the coatroom. He eventually resigned for ideological reasons. I stopped going as well. The meetings were on the same night at Cheers. I had a thing for Rhea Perlman playing Carla Tortelli. Priorities.
We now have lunch when we both attend Woodworking In America. I have a fond memory of our last lunch, I was sharing my views on Keynesian economics and he was eating an apple and pounding out a blog on his trusty Blickensderfer.
I bring this all up because I see he is finally coming out with his book on campaign furniture. I first introduced him to campaign furniture during our Trilateral Commission days. During the snack breaks, I would show him pictures of my family’s collection and discuss with him the history and construction techniques.
When he started his own publishing house, I e-mailed him and suggested campaign furniture would be a worthy topic for a book. Apparently he agreed. Congratulations on publishing it.
I turned this over to my fact checkers and they have come up with the following issues. Since we did not have time to verify either version, I am publishing both.
1. I wasn’t talking shrimp. I was discussing pasta shapes.
2. It’s Roy Underhill’s Woodwrights School.
3. Lizzie Borden allegedly offed her parents with an Underhill #7 ax. Roy claims to have been presented with several.
4. The reason I quit the Upper Ohio Valley chapter of the Trilateral Commission was not Cheers. It was Who’s the Boss. I had a thing for Tony Danza.
5. Chris used a Caligraph typewriter, not a Blickensderfer.
6. It wasn’t Keynesian economics. It was Chicago School Economic Theory,
7. Chris denies actually knowing me.
No. 7 is not true. We are good acquaintances. If one of us saw the other stricken down, I know we would make sure 911 was called before we went on to lunch.
With that, I present all my campaign furniture pictures. These are the ones that got this whole thing going.
This is my favorite campaign handle:
This piece is a naval officer’s toilet chest I saw at a local antiques fest:
This is a picture of the inside of a campaign chest showing the overcuts common when making full-blind dovetails.
Chris just did a blog on full-blind dovetails HERE. What a coincidence.
Click HERE to see many of my campaign furniture pictures. I will say that some are campaign in style only.