28 Mar A Table
A table is a simple thing. It sits there, does it job, and is pretty unassuming. This weekend I made one for the office. It will go in a back room and chances are nobody will ever see it besides our staff. But, building this table was a special experience for me — it reminded me of my childhood and why I decided to become a dentist.
Both of my grandfathers were tremendously talented individuals, one a master carpenter and the other a classic blue-collar worker who worked for a brewery back home. Growing up my brother and I were fortunate enough to watch and learn from both of them. My mom’s dad taught us how to craft things with our hands, how to be patient, and how to analyze and improve our work. They both had incredibly strong work ethics and taught their grandchildren the value of hard work.
One of the most distinct memories I have with my maternal grandfather is making little coin banks when I was 10. The memories of dust covering his hands as he made the seams on two pieces of wood disappear, and the care with which he applied the stain to the oak are ingrained in my head. No matter what he touched he left an imprint of himself on the finished product.
My dad’s father always showed us how to be prepared and resourceful and instilled in us the notion that generosity has no bounds. When we weren’t fishing, hunting, or in the workshop, we were working with him. We used to go out every Saturday to mow grass, rake the leaves, and work in his garden before going to church on the lake back home. These are memories that will last a lifetime.
Sharing the same values we learned as children, my brother and I are truly blessed to work together at BGOHC. I think we’re both good problem solvers because of the experiences we had as kids, and we try to be different in a world where many people are quick to hire someone or order something with the click of a button. When our Morgantown office needed a new floor, we made a trip to the hardware store and when our Smith’s Grove office needed a table I spent a weekend in the garage.
Yes, Amazon has really great deals on tables and in two days it would have been at my door (we are an Amazon Prime family of course). Instead I chose to put the things I learned as a child to use and make a custom made table myself. The poplar i used for the legs? It came from my fences I put up around my house. The walnut stripe on the table top? It came from a tree hit by lightning out at our farm that my dad cut for me. In a world where you can buy virtually anything, I take pride in making things my “own” and find being a dentist a very rewarding extension of my values.
At BGOHC we try to stay on the cutting edge of new dental procedures: sedation dentistry, implants, and crowns made in two hours. While technology is great and all of us are committed to knowing the best techniques available, we take a step back to remember that fast isn’t always better and that the term “handcrafted” still has a place in the dental office.
I spent four years in dental school, but my education began long before that. Fortunately I was blessed to learn the value of hard work, creativity, precision, and patience. The world is a much different place than it was when I was 10, but it sure is fun to reminisce with my brother while we are sipping on a cup of coffee. We’re better people and better dentists because of our grandfathers, and we are both eternally grateful they were a part of our lives.