Who, what, and where is Gat Creek?

Is the question, who is Gat Creek, where is Gat Creek, or what is Gat Creek?

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Who is Gat Creek?

The name behind Gat Creek is Gaston Caperton, Gat to his family and friends.

Where is Gat Creek?

Gat’s story is that growing up in West Virginia, he and his family lived in home in a forested valley surrounded by mountains. Like most kids, Gat and his brother spent their days playing along a nearby creek that wound its way through the valley. Being a year older and bigger and taller than his brother, Gat saw the creek first and proclaimed it his by way of conquest. Gat’s brother protested to his parents, who gave into the fatigue of chasing two boys under the age of five, finally relenting in Gat’s favor,

“Okay, it’s Gat’s Creek.”

The name stuck and now appears on maps, along with a road of the same name.

What is Gat Creek?

Almost 30 years later, Gat Caperton fell in love with a local furniture company in Berkley Springs that built antique reproductions using local craftsmen and women as well as Mennonites and Amish workers from Pennsylvania and Ohio. The company was Tom Seely.

Gat was interested both because it was a local West Virginia company and because Gat was in love with the idea of designing furniture. A background in business and finance helped seal the deal.

“I am fascinated by people who buy troubled businesses, then fix them and make them profitable,” Gat would later say.

He bought the company and eventually gave it the name it now proudly carries. Twenty years later, Gat Creek is still American made, using solid wood cherry, maple, and ash. And now sells through a network of 200 national retailers from coast to coast.

One of these retailers is Tradition Home. We are proud to say that we were the first Tom Seely and Gat Creek retailer west of the Mississippi, having earned our spurs working with May and Bud Ledtke at Village Antiques in Vienna, Virginia.

* Footnote

It is interesting to say that during World War II, Tom Seely served with the Flying Tigers in Kunming, China; and Bud Ledtke was a B-17 pilot with the Eighth Air Force flying out of England, where he met his future wife, May, who work alongside General Curtis LeMay.

Gat Caperton is named for his father Gaston Caperton, two time governor of the state of West Virginia. The unusual last name traces its origins back to Lincolnshire, England and before that to the bailiwick of Caux in Normandy, France. It is said that the Caperton family was descended from Le Cappere of Ayncourt (Aincourt), and was granted lands by William the Conqueror, their liege Lord, for their prowess at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

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tiki with 5 chairs, vintage art, red horse signs

Summer is Past

Labor Day is past, the rain is falling today, all day, and the cat has decided to stay inside and sulk. Summer is officially over. It is time to get out the scrap book, update the photographs, and take stock of the experiences and memories we enjoyed this summer.

Summer is past, or is it?

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Was it real? I ask.

Can I hope to hold on to that perfect moment in a world that never stops? Can I save it with a photograph or a work of art?

Is memory more real than reality?

To Plato’s statement by way of Socrates that Art can never truly represent Reality, I say:

“Phooey!”

Our world, as we experience it, is many things. Uncertain in what he sees, Socrates calls these “a collection of mere appearances like reflections in a mirror and shadows on a wall,” but our experience, and our reality, is more than that, it is not mere sight, but the sense of the thing, the sum of all our experiences, the laughter, the tears, the trips and vacations spots with family and friends, the diaries, and postcards, and pictures, and yes, art.

Life is the sum total of our memories

Consider, there are countless chairs in the world. There is the cradle that keeps the infant safe, the rocking chair for the child at play, and the royal throne for the king, who uneasy wears his crown.

But the perfect chair is the one we were sitting in when a special moment took place.

tiki with 5 chairs, vintage art, red horse signs
Tiki with 5 chairs, vintage art, red horse signs

Get your perfect chair at Robyns Lake House down by the Tiki Hut

Tiki Hut

What do philosophers know of life? Plato’s Republic in PDF format

 

Labor Day

My daughter, a reporter for Channel 8 in Dallas, did a story this Labor Day about women who make their own destiny, then she did two live Facebook feeds. One Facebook Live was about the American Idol auditions in Dallas. The other feed was about jobs and what we like about them and what we don’t.

A dad likes to brag, she got a ‘bijillion’ views, likes and shares. Bijillion, if you compare them to my paltry views.

It is both fitting and ironic that we are talking about jobs on a holiday. It is fitting that we celebrate all those who work and bring meat to the table. Not all jobs are fun, not all jobs are easy and nice, but they are necessary. Somebody has got to do the necessary stuff so that the rest of us can day off.

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So, here is to those who work on Labor Day. Soldiers and policemen and women for sure, but hospital workers, and restaurant workers, and gas station attendants, and a thousand others who keep life moving on.

And yes, reporters, like my daughter.

As for me, I love what I do, so I am not sure if it is truly work. Perhaps it is a labor, but a labor of love, one I don’t mind doing, even if the store is closed.

And what do I do?

Mostly, I sit and I think. Occasionally, I type a thought or two. A thought which always brings to mind the last line from John Milton’s sonnet, “When I Consider How My Light is Spent.”

“They also serve who only stand (‘sit,’ I interject) and wait.”

An enlarged reading of the sonnet explains that the poem was, in part, about Milton’s increasing blindness. Here are the lines below, so that you can imagine the author’s true feelings.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
‘Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?’
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: ‘God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.’

The words are rich in meaning, the phrases full of life, the sonnet, a beautiful expression of our purpose here on earth, to serve God’s purpose in whatever manner we might.

 

Cedar shake shingle two story cottage in Cannon Beach

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

Had I never wandered, I never would have gone, and sadly I never would have known. Like Marco and his walk down Mulberry Street, there is a lot more out there than meets the eye, there is a lot more to know than what they tell you in the published guide. And if you don’t know Marco, you’ve never really lived (hint, Dr. Seuss).

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea, she sits on the porch of her Cedar shake shingle house, say it fast, say it again, and again, and laugh and laugh as you watch the wind and the waves pound the shore by the sea.

Cedar shake shingle two story cottage in Cannon Beach
Cedar shake shingle two story cottage with two porches in Cannon Beach, Oregon