My copy of “Mental Floss” – yes it’s a magazine – arrived in the mail the other day. Mental Floss features of an unusual nature. For example, the recent issue includes in-depth writing on the 25 most powerful TV shows, Salvador Dali, and the original Dear Abby.
The article, however, which caught my eye the most, outside of the one about purchasing homing pigeons, was one on comedian Bill Cosby. Yes, that Bill Cosby. And while the article cites Cosby’s signature routine, “To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With” as his best, the one I always associate Cosby with is Noah. It’s not only a great routine, it’s a great story – one which might have been different had it taken place in Buffalo Grove.
I am not sure just what the village regulations are for arks, but I image Noah would have to go before the ZBA (Zoological Board of Animals) before coming to the Village Board. No doubt he’d be drilled about his association with L & L (Lions and Llamas) and the number of bathrooms on board the ark.
But what would set Noah apart from some people in the village is that he was a craftsman. He wasn’t a craftsman because he built things, it is because he did it right. I have never built an ark, because I don’t know what a cubid is, let alone I have no space for an ark.
I do, however, admire those craftsmen who use skill and master techniques in their projects. There are, in my mind, two types of craftsmen. The first is a 'butcher' who swings a hammer, tears things down and then rather than rebuild, bellows to people that they don’t have a plan. The other type of craftsman has a plan – perhaps not always perfect -- but rather than swing the hammer, they use screw drivers, drills and a collection of files, rasps and awls. Rather than swing aimlessly, the fine craftsman, more of an artisan, gains input and shares it with his or her peers so the final project, whenever it’s completed, is a work of art, or close to it.
Municipalities, such as Buffalo Grove, are loaded with craftsmen. And while the finished projects are not always works of arts, there has been, in most cases, collaboration in the design and implementation.
No village board, school board, city council, plan commission or park board is going to have a perfect pallet in front of them. So when the wrecking crews show up yielding hammers and crow bars, they do so just tear done without any plan. They just swing the hammer and say “look at me, look at I did” instead of saying what they can do. But when you swing only for attention there is nothing to show for it but a pile of rubble. Fortunately, there are enough folks with screw drivers, drills, files, rasps and awls to keep building.
And look past the rubble.
(Stan Zoller's blogs can be read at Stanzoller.wordpress.com or zolleronbuffalogrove.wordpress.com or at Chicagonow.com at http://www.chicagonow.com/suburban-scene)