What can I say – Adult graffiti is more boring than the more youthful variety and it says different things:
“I was here. I made this thing.”
“Here’s a board from this lot; it doesn’t matter if I’ve left the marks on it, because no one (important) will ever see it”.
“We were here. Don’t forget us.”
“Does this paintbrush work?”
“If I get the brand really hot, will it go into the wood?”
“I have some paint left over. What can I do with it?”
The workmen who left these marks are mostly lost to history. Only one, Hobie Morris, is remembered by name in 2012. Hobie was a master carpenter who worked on most if not all of the restoration work that Harlan and Dorothy did in the 1960s and 70s. Reproducing paneling in the downstairs rooms, doing the hidden work in the kitchen – I remember him, quiet – taciturn, even – focused on his work – and handsome. I don’t believe I ever spoke a word to him. He worked for Henry Booth, another master carpenter, but my father reported that he didn’t want the headache of being a business owner, so he came, quietly made beauty, and left. The only visible trace of his pride in his work was when he rebuilt the cellar hatchway.