I grew up on a small ranch in the mountains of Southern Oregon in a log cabin I helped my dad build. I was 12 when we moved on to the ranch about eight years later we got electricity and telephone to the ranch about the time I started my senior year of high school. Growing up like that taught me the value of good tools and the knife in its many forms is one of mankind’s oldest and most valuable tools. I served in the Marine Corps and in 1972 was medevac back to the USA where I spent the next 10 months in and out of Oak Knoll Naval Hospital for surgery and physical therapy. The Marine Corps told me I was broken and I couldn’t play anymore so they sent me home. I went to college, worked a variety of jobs, including about 10 years as manager of a small chain of pipe, cigar and men’s gift stores. One store was both a full service cutlery store and the smoke shop. We sold knives and all of our stores because what better gift could a man have in the 1980s that a new Al Mar or Kershaw knife? In this position I was privileged to become friends with Al Mar of Al Mar knives. I also got to know Les De Asis of Benchmade Knives and custom maker Jody Sampson who was working for him then. They were actually in the development phase and had not started making knives yet. I believe I got the second order of knives that they shipped, and it was the first order they shipped to a retailer. As my service-connected disabilities became more debilitating I started working for the state of Oregon as a Veterans Representative. In 2004 my VA doctor faxed a letter to my manager and said he recommended that I stop working because of the physical toll the work was taking on my body. So reluctantly I retired in 2004. I have had numerous surgeries; the most recent was this month (February 2017) when I had my gallbladder removed. I believe that was the 46th or 47th surgery I have had; 17 surgeries on my left wrist/hand including three joint replacements and the total fusion of my left wrist. Naturally I used my right hand for most everything and it is worse for the wear, with five surgeries on my right hand and two on my right shoulder. Also five or six abdominal surgeries, two knee replacements, both of which I am ecstatically pleased with! I also have three autoimmune disorders; Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. I have been doing knife repairs and customizing work, but the last three years have been pretty tough on me physically and at this time I am not taking new orders for custom work. I am going to take my time and finish the knives I have in my shop and see how my body is doing at that point. My wife is retiring this year and we may just take some time and travel a little bit. Who knows we might show up a local knife show!