Handcrafted pens and fresh beets at farmers’ market

Until I find an apartment, I am living with my mom on Garfield Street near RA Long High School. We both love to cook, so we are eating delicious home-cooked meals filled with fresh vegetables and fruits every evening. This morning, we decided we needed some fresh beets to roast for a new recipe my mom wants to try out. I jumped on my bicycle and headed for the farmer’s market, enjoying a leisurely ride through the park surrounding Lake Sacajawea, and on through downtown to the fairgrounds where farmers and craftsmen gather every Tuesday and Saturday.

Not only did I find two lovely bunches of fresh beets and greens and tree-ripened cherries, I also ran into a woodworker who sells gorgeous hand-crafted pens made from special wood he buys from around the world. Here is his fun story:

Bob Berthiaume had just retired from Boeing in Everett,Washington when an old high-school sweetheart found him on Classmates.com. More than forty years after his 1962 high-school graduation, he and his long-lost love reconnected. They started emailing and getting to know one another all over again. Two years later, they were married, and Bob found himself living in Longview, Washington with his new bride. Along with a fresh marriage, and a brand new town, Berthiaume decided to pick up another hobby, too: woodworking.

A magazine article gave him the idea for creating beautiful pens from exotic wood, Berthiaume said. With his wife’s blessing, he purchased more than $2500 in woodworking tools, and began spending more than five hours each day in his shop, creating furniture, cabinets, wine-bottle stoppers, letter openers, and writing tools. His wife loves what he’s doing, he said.

Berthiaume said that his favorite wood is Padauk, a cinnamon-red wood with purple pores that grows in Africa. The wood is rare, so pens made from Padauk cost $40. Bob said his wife’s favorite wood is Olive Wood from the holy land of Bethlehem, and with it, he made her a pen and pencil set that she treasures. “I make pens or letter openers from olive wood on special  request.” Berthiaume said.

To contact Bob Berthiaume write to bob.bobsboards@gmail.com.

Here is a link that might interest woodworkers reading my post sent to me by a reader. http://firstchoiceind.net/blog/


3 Comments on “Handcrafted pens and fresh beets at farmers’ market”

  1. First Choice Industrial says:

    Thank you, Loretta for sharing this wonderful story.

    We are a woodworking machinery dealer located in Auburn, GA, and I’m certain our professional woodworking clients would be moved by this story and Bob’s craftsmanship as well, and I’d like to have your permission to make a mention of the post and add a link from our Woodworking Machinery & Industry News Blog: First Choice Industrial, LLC blog at http://firstchoiceind.net/blog/

    First Choice Industrial, LLC

  2. Bob Berthiaume says:

    Thanks fot the great article. One correction: the correct email is bob.bobsboards@gmail.com

    Hope to see you at the market again.


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