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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan

    Default When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Can somebody please expound upon when it was, exactly, that the "C Words" of life became out of style? The words of which I speak are: craftsmanship, (and I mean hand-crafting...), common courtesy, and the fine art of common sense! Last night, I saw a prime example of someone who knew little, if anything, about the meaning or even the mere existence of the three little words that can have so great an impact. Follow...

    Yesterday, a buddy of mine called to ask if he could swing by and pick up his Au Sable riverboat, as he had a guy booked for a float trip later today. When they arrived, we went out to the barn, pulled out the trailer and attached its load to my friend's trailer hitch. Looking at the "refurbished" riverboat in the sunlight, it was nothing short of incredible. He and I had put two years of hand-work into "re-claiming" the old wooden drift-boat, and it had the look of pride in craftsmanship, and we both were proud, until we heard the words, "That's it?? You expect me to fish out of that??"

    For a few moments, I honestly thought that I'd be hearing teeth breaking, as my buddy's jaw tightened to the point of fracture. In the utterance of 10 words, the "sport" had violated the spirit of all of the "C words" of life.

    The boat in question is older than I am, and is the epitome of man-hours spent hand-crafting every detail of the riverboat. My buddy picked it up at a yard sale for next to nothing, as it was well on its way to becoming starter for the woodstove. It needed help, and he and I were bound and determined to bring it back to life, and make it "river worthy" again. Today, the craftsmanship in its initial building is again obvious... to some of us.

    And, to add insult to injury, the total lack of common courtesy in the "sport's" appraisal of the boat spoke volumes about his lack of common sense! Do some people really think that it's acceptable to speak poorly about a man's parentage, his family, his friends, his faith, his workmanship or his sense of self? When, in the name of all that is holy, did the change take place in adherring to the "C Words" rules of life? I'd really like to know...

    First of all, I respect any man or woman who can still fashion by hand something good. Hand-wrought craftsmanship should be respected-- such as gt05254's workmanship --not trashed by some arbitrary comment. And, common courtesy and common sense should be "no-brainers," regardless of age, status and the like. But, apparently, some consider these rules of conduct to be "old-fashioned."

    Our daughter, Jesse, is 19 and blessed with her mother's looks, my height, and a love for all things "fly." She can out-cast most anglers-- including me --and out-fish most as well. Yet, despite all of this, she was raised to respect others and to choose her words well. She, too, can see the beauty in the riverboat, a nicely-crafted rod or a well-tied fly. I may be a bit biased, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a nicer kid working the river.

    So, again, I ask... when did it become fashionable/acceptable to disregard life's "C Words" and just run off at the mouth? Am I really getting that old???

    Jerry, aka hairwing530

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Down East, EH!

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Well written and a reminder to all of us of some of the more important things in life as we go through our daily paces, both on and off the water.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Common sense has been long gone sadly, most people my age are about as smart the toilet paper roll in your bathroom. For courtesy I was raised to open doors and I actually still say sir and ma'am due to my grandmother and grandfather making me, it is a rare thing, and I find it funny girls my age find opening the car door as impressive when I go out on dates, it is truly sad.

    For craftsmanship, I blame people wanting more for less, there is only easy way to cutting costs, that is making the product cheaper, which means using cheaper parts, cheaper labor, etc. I also blame greed for this, I watch people either try to act like they have money so they look like something or people with money look like idiots.

    I will never understand this, why people place money before just about everything, yet claim to care for their family, but I could bet you many of those would push their own family over for a few 100k, and maybe I am just this way because of how i was raised and how I find making money very easy, but I also work my butt off, and I definitely believe I earn every dollar I have.

    To me this world is going in the wrong direction, I could go on forever about why I think this, but I am tired, I have been up for about two days and been on more planes than my butt can handle.

    To end, fly fishing is my escape as I have said probably many times on here, being out on a stream where nothing matters, I have even caught myself just standing out there just staring at my surroundings, I think a lot of people forget to appreciate that these days and get caught up in just catching fish. To me I like the simple life, my business life is crazy, but organized, my home life is simple. I have my hobbies and I have my friends/family. I am a happy person.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Believe it or not, I actually have a theory about the demise of life's "C Words," and it dovetails nicely into stuie675's observations...

    I believe that the beginning of the end for the aforementioned "C Words" began when a generation or two skipped over the finer points of life when the time came to pass along the mantle of knowlege, skills and certain "humanities" to the next generation. It had a "snowball effect" of sorts, and it just seemed to slip on by and continue its downhill roll.

    There is truth to be found in the fact that common sense seems to be an absentee factor with some folks, which, to my feeble mind, is a sad situation, indeed. As for common courtesy? Well, that's one of those "either you extend it to others," or you don't kind of things. Few fall into step with the courtesies of life without having been brought up honoring or fully understanding them. And, extending them to others costs us nothing!! Yet, they have the potential to yield such a great return.

    And, as far as the craftsmen of this world? I believe that many experience that one shining moment in their lives when they want to do something special-- or learn to do something truly unique --without the benefit of a computer or their Smart phones. Generally, it's more a "later in life" sort of thing, but at least, it does come around to those interested enough to take notice.

    A craftsman is someone who can see the potential in a block of wood, a pile of feathers and hooks, or a piece of history-- the riverboat --and makes something out of nothing!! My grandfather could carve a decoy or wrap a hook with the best of 'em, and he passed on his love of making things to his first-born grandson-- me! Like many of those of his generation, he was fond of saying "If you can work with your hands, then you'll never be out of a job." Wise words from a man that I loved, respected and admired.

    While "having the latest and greatest of everything" while paying the least amount of money for it has become fashionable nowadays, I'm "old-school" in my approach. I like a good bargain as much as the next guy, but I'm more than willing to pay a craftsman an honest price for an honest effort! Show me a man's pride in his works, and I'll show you something that I'd like to have.

    I don't fish the "newest" rods or reels... just the ones that fulfill my needs and are made well. I also favor my current "Fish Truck" for its tank-like construction -- an old 1998 Chevy Tahoe with 4-wheel drive --and don't need to drive the newest or the latest. (Truth be known, I'd love to find an old Range Rover and another riverboat to restore.)

    So, should we one day meet astream, don't be so bold as to not show me the common courtesy of respect. And, in return, I will do the same for you. After all, it's just makes good, common sense to do so, and you might be surprised at what transpires somewhere down the road...
    Last edited by hairwing530; 03-05-2013 at 08:59 PM.

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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Akron Ohio (don't let that fool you)

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    We live in a "Now" society where information is at everyone's finger tips. Why learn anything the old fashioned way when you can google the answers right from your iphone. Our society has become so needy, greedy, and if you really want my opinion ignorant. We live in a world where if you get a bloody flat tire on the ride home from work you press a little button in the over teched mini van and some service truck changes the tire for you while you watch your favorite HBO show on your iphone! You can go to the over-sized box stores get a gallon of mayo, a dress shirt and tie, some fried chicken and damned camera! When you are surrounded by gizmos and gadgits that eliminate the hands on aspect of life, common sense goes out the window. I look around at my neighborhood and have realized mine was the last generation that came home dirty, wet, late, or all banged up. Kids today don't even leave the house! How does one develop common sense without the trial and error experience that is life? As far as craftsmanship goes most people, at least around here, think its just the name of sears' tool line. Craftsman, journeymen, and even just garage wood tinkerers are fading in our world of instant gratification. But some of us still get dirty some of us still make things with our hands and change our own flat tires, some of us still use common sense and still hold it in higher regard than a formal education. Common sense isn't dead just yet.
    Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave

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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Dang, Hairwing, ranting about some dweeb's comments about a restored boat & not even a single picture of it posted!

    I'm really glad I'm not the only person who feels this way. Growing up, I had the best of everything I needed & you guys probably did also.

    I had the best parents & the best family I could have! Some folks are taught these values & some are not! Sounds like we're all "haves"!

    Hairwing, tell your friend don't get too upset over this, people like that guy are not worth getting upset over!

    BTW, pictures of the boat in question would still be very nice!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  12. #7

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    I can envision our fathers and our grandfathers making the same observation - and I'm sure they did a time or two. But we're supposed to be evolving, becoming more civilized. Sorry for your experience.

  13. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    When did Craftsmanship, Courtesy, and Common Sense go out of style?

    I had to look this stuff up.

    Craftsmanship. About the time "They" (big corporations) started using the phrase "engineered obsolesence." Or about the time we (U.S.) decided to import boatloads of rubber dogs**t from China even though half of them were substandard, lead-painted pieces of rubber dog . . . you know. And why? because our government decided that quantity was better than quality.

    Common Sense. I knew this one without looking it up. Right around the time "They" (legal system) decided you could successfully sue a company because you spilled hot coffee you willfully bought from said company, on your parts. Nevermind that anyone with an I.Q. high enough to drive a car should know not to put hot coffee between their legs while driving.

    News flash: coffee is made with boiling water. Boiling water on most of the planet Earth is around 212 degrees F. Pour that on any part of your body and it will definitely leave a mark and most likely ruin your commute. Unless you're into that sort of thing. Now we have to have cups that actually have to tell us that coffee is hot. And don't forget, they are charging you to put that warning on the side of your cup, because you can't be trusted to know better.

    Decided not to touch Courtesy for now. But I do remember not only my parents teaching me common courtesy but also being taught the basics in school from a very young age. Things like when speaking to any teacher, being required to use either "sir," or "ma'am," at all times. Failure to do so could have resulted in "educational" corporal punishment. And my parents would've cheered them on. And did once or twice. But I learned rapidly after that. Somewhere between my high school graduation 26 years ago and today a whole generation of kids weren't taught the phrase, "Spare the rod, spoil the child."

    Anyway, that's as close as I can peg it.


    P.S. Please post pic of boat. Would love to see it.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

  14. #9

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    Generally agree with Big Jim, and think each generation probably shakes it's head at the subsequent ones and laments good things lost. I currently have 2 under the age of two that will likely mystify and frustrate me to no end as they grow up in an ever changing world. Generally change has a good side and a bad side.

    However, to switch gears, the above comment about coffee reminded me of this article, read some time ago. I'd vote for this guy if he wasn't too smart to run for office.
    - William

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  16. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan

    Default Re: When Did Life's "C Words" Go Out Of Style?

    jsquires and williamhj,

    I have to agree with you both, in that the questioning of changing behavior has long been the bane of any and all past generations. Lately, however, I think that the proverbial envelope has been pushed by the growing disregard for the once-expected "pleasantries," if you will. Why? Because it's become too commonplace in today's society.

    Mine was perhaps the last generation with a genuine fear of "the woodshed." It took me but one trip to said "woodshed" to learn that there were "rules," codes of conduct, if you will, that were not only expected, but required!! I violated one of those rules-- I took one of my grandfather's shotguns out for an afternoon of bird hunting without permission --and I paid the price. My backside smarted for a couple of days, but this painful and deserved lesson stayed first and foremost in my mind, and helped establish my appreciation for said rules.

    Now, before you get it in your head that my grandfather was an abusive man, he was anything but-- a gentle soul who wanted nothing but the best for his first-born grandson and set out to instill it in the best ways that he knew how. He came from the long line of Scot/Irish farmers and craftsmen, men who carved out a tough living amidst the often-inhospitable areas of the West Virginia "hill country," and his upbringing shaped who he was. He wished only the same for me, and set in place the building blocks of "respect, responsibility and regard for others." Opening doors and using words like "Sir" or "Ma'am" weren't an option... they were expected as part of my overall conduct. He also taught me that hard work really wouldn't kill me!!! And for those early lessons, I thank my grandparents.

    As has been pointed out, some of these "courtesies" declines may be linked to the anonymity of living behind a computer monitor. Now, don't get me wrong... I'm a BIG fan of today's technology, in that it's made my job a whole lot easier. But, when some websites allow a man or woman to remain anonymous and still spout "virtual venom" whenever and wherever he/she pleases without fear of repercussions, it begins to become a trait of everyday life. Some of the things that I've read-- and a few hurled my way --would never be said on an old porch after supper, and especially not in a face-to-face situation! But, give those same people an on-line soapbox, and I'm sure that many of you have seen what can come out of someone's mouth! And, not in the best light possible...

    I won't "preach to the choir," so to speak, and tell you that my generation was/is the best at adherring to ways now considered a bit out-of-step. That would be too broad a generalization. But, even in today's world of "multi-tasking and too few hours to spare," it only takes a moment to hold a door, help a neighbor, or merely acknowledge one's respect with an occasional "Sir" or "Ma'am." After all, what could it hurt???

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