Friday, October 06, 2006


Tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of my wonderful marriage to my amazing wife, Kathy. In reference to meeting his wife Nancy, Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying, "She saved my soul." I know exactly how he felt. I was about as lost as a man could get when I met Kathy, and she reawakened in me the person that I had abandoned piece by piece over the years. She encouraged me to reconnect with my creative side, both in writing and through the crafty things I once loved, like model building.

Kathy also reignited my interest in action figures by giving me repro versions of Captain Action and Dr. Evil for my birthday in 1999. Ever since then, I've been collecting vintage figures as well as creating new custom figures. My interest in m
odel building came in handy as I learned to create tiny accessories on a 1/6th scale and painted heads to look like celebrities and super heroes. She even encouraged me to create this blog so I could share my experiences with the rest of the world.

I have to share one action figure project that was directly influenced by my wife. I had purchased a W.W. II Japanese soldier figure specifically to swipe his jodhpurs for a Doc Savage custom. Just fooling around, I took the Japanese figure and put on him black paints, white shirt and tie,and a white lab coat. I took a boning knife from my fisherman figure and put it in his hand. Then I proudly presented him to Kathy as Sushi Man. She replied, "Now all you have to do is make a sushi bar for him." I laughed and promptly forgot about the comment, but Kathy would periodically remind me of her statement. "When you gonna make that
sushi bar for Sushi Man?" she would ask. Ohmigod, she's serious.

The pressure increased when she purchased these Japanese snacks which included as prizes these 1/6th scale plates of sushi. I mean these were really detailed plates and sake carafes and sake cups and chopsticks. The pieces of sushi themselves were oversized, but nicely detailed, looking exactly like sushi you would eat in a restaurant. Now I really had to make that darned sushi bar.

I decided the sushi bar would be a present for Christmas 2005 and promptly started work that fall. I had to work on it at my brother's house to keep it out of sight. Fortunately, my brother Craig took an interest in my project and lent his wood working experience to my feeble design. While my concept was basic and not too structurally sound, Cra
ig set about to create a sushi bar comparable to a real life piece of furniture, only on 1/6th scale. He built a sturdy frame on which we attached the balsa wood panels and table top. He also decorated the sides with strips of rich looking wood and carved a fish for the front panel. As a finishing touch, Craig made a brass railing piece which divided the Sushi Man's workspace from the diners. I was left with the painting and varnishing. Thanks to Craig, the piece was far nicer than my wildest dreams.

On Christmas Day, Kathy was totally blown away by the gift, much to my relief. We set the bar up in the living room with action figures and those amazing sushi accessories. For a while, we felt like kids again playing with dolls on Christmas morning. The photo below shows what the finished product looked like:

That experience is only one example of how Kathy has made the last eight years such a fun and wondrous ride. I hope the ride continues for many more years to come. I love you, sweetie!


Kathy said... brought tears to my eyes! I love you too, baby!

Gene said...

"Sniff" that is just beautiful!

Happy Anniversary you guys and many more.

Gene and Libby

Anonymous said...

Happy Days!