June 8, 2006
Albany--- People have all kinds of ways to minimize or cope with daily stress. Some garden. Some exercise it away, but one man does the old fashioned way. He uses tools pattered after those used more than 200 years ago. In one of the many offices located on Westover Road is a man with a rather secure job. "Not many people want my job," says Terry Young.
He often determines whether a person keeps his livelihood or not, whether a family business stays in the family or not. "I'm a problem solver for nine states," says Terry.
Many people would not trade places says Terry as he reads one of the 100 or so e-mails and phone calls each day, plus a rigorous travel schedule. He decides if crop insurance will pay claims for weather disasters such as those from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "I come in at 6 to 6:30 am. Try to do a lot of my reading and understanding our new guidelines as the year changes," says Terry.
It seems the guidelines change frequently, and he must know each one inside out. "I don't have a lot of patience at work," says Terry. The day-to-day stresses often come close to getting unmanageable. "It's hard to get rid of it before you go home," says Terry who lives in Worth County.
At home he attacks stress an old fashioned way. "Same way they did it 200 years ago," says Terry as he opens a red tool chest that reveals replicas of tools that date back to the 1800s.
He literally uses the tools to chop bowls out of wood. "Probably a more appropriate term would be hewing," says Terry. He wouldn't think of taking an easy way out by using motorized equipment.
Terry uses elbow power, and somehow he feels relaxed after spending a few hours digging out the wood to make a bowl. Time seems to stand still in his shop. "The longer it takes, the better I like it," says Terry.
It took him 20 hours to make a special bowl; Others take four to five hours of chopping away curls of wood. Terry takes wood most people would discard and emphasizes its natural blemishes.
He particularly likes black walnut and maple wood, but has been known to take part of a diseased tree and turn it into a brilliant work of art. One time he made a bowl from a mold-infected tree. Terry realized the black lines in the wood's tissue looked like nature's roadways.
He sanded the wood and applied oil several times to bring out its natural beauty after digging away the wood. "It's a challenge."
A challenge for him to save a piece of history, to turn it into a work of art. "A piece of a tree that came from a tree in their yard that has some sentimental value. They have something to remember," says Terry.
Terry cuts stress into manageable pieces by taking chips off the old blocks of wood the hard way. Terry perfected his chopping style after watching a craftsman do it for several hours.