There are two recent niche media events that will go unnoticed by 97% of the American public. In late August, the Discovery Channel announced that Tory Belleci, Grant Imahara and Kari Byron would not be returning to Mythbusters for the 2015 season. The show seems to be going back to its roots and will return to the original format of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman working alone. (Will folklorist Heather Joseph-Witham, Ph.D. return?) It could be budget, could be a creative reboot. It does remove some of the silliness that the show would occasionally devolve into. But they have their fans and will be missed.
The other niche trio making news is Bob Lang, Glen Huey and Chuck Bender leaving Popular Woodworking. I first met (if you can use that word) Glen Huey five (?) years ago at my first Woodworking in America. The local Woodcraft was holding a meet and greet with some woodworking luminaries. Ron Herman was there. Rob Cosman. Scott Phillips. Glen Huey and I believe Chuck Bender. And I am sure there were others but I was too new to the celebrity woodworking world to appreciate who most of these people were. A violent thunderstorm kept some away while holding the rest of us captive. While waiting to talk to Scott Phillips, I chatted with Mr. Huey. (Not entirely true but true enough.) I attended a few of his classes over the weekend and was impressed. Favorably.
We next met when he came to Raleigh, NC for a Friday night talk and a weekend workshop for the Triangle Woodworkers Association. We talked more. Then we talked more when I came to the Pop Woodworking shop for Bob Lang’s Puzzle Stool class. Glen was there to help out.
He was on of those with whom I shared my furniture pictures before I was bludgeoned into doing the this blog. He even used some of my pictures in his PW blog.
I initially met Chuck Bender through osmosis. He and Glen Huey seem to be joined at the hip. I started to talk to him while talking with Glen. It would be rude to not talk to him. I then gave him a lot of money and was allowed to hang out with him at his Acanthus Workshop in Pennsylvania for a week. He too came to Raleigh for a weekend workshop and we bonded further.
In 2012, Woodworking in America was held in Pasadena, CA and Cincinnati. In Pasadena, one of the after hours activities was a tour of and dinner at the Gamble House (a Greene and Greene designed Arts and Crafts house in Pasadena). I had toured the house before. It is a dark house on a bright and sunny California day. At night, it’s really dark. I shared a table with Bob Lang at dinner that night on the equally dark terrace. I’m not sure he saw me and ever realized who he was talking to. We then renewed(?) our acquaintance at his Puzzle stool class.
I was concerned when I read that these three gentlemen were leaving the magazine. I consider Megan Fitzpatrick a friend and this can’t be making her life any easier. (There are many working definitions of friend but for the purposes of my blog, I’ll use my definition.) I think we need to consider the entire Alexander Graham Bell Quote – When one door closes, another opens: but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. The three will experiment with new ideas on presenting their craft and some new and different voices brought in to fill the void at the magazine. More woodworking content cannot be a bad thing.
Now for the coincidence portion. Three people left Mythbusters while thousands of mile away, three people left Pop Woodworking. The Ohio crew are all talented builders and I am sure one of them can learn to use a TIG welder and plasma cutter. Glen looks like a natural to be the heavy equipment operator. They have a built-in following. Research show that the only people left watching TV on TV are those who might be considered older. It stands to reason that sponsors might want to find personalities the would appeal to that demographic. And, as a professional that has been involved in the entertainment industry since 1977, Bob Lang has really, really good hair. He truly does. (Bender, not so much.)
Not all will accept this theory yet no one has risen to refute it. One of my cats did walk away rolling his eyes upon hearing my theory. I think it was because there no treats involved. He is more accepting when there are treats involved.
Whatever happened, only them that were there will know the truth and then only their truth. Your truth may vary. I choose to believe their motives are pure.
And it doesn’t really matter. In a million years we are all dust…