The Ox – Portrait of a Master Woodworker



the engineer and designer who engineered the Gold Gate Bridge engineer to bridge he knew full well could not be built but he had complete faith in the craftsmen of the time to get the job done and we did I married Hollenbeck I own and operate blue ox no words in Community School in the redwood forest Blue Ox is a custom job shop we make architectural millwork for buildings all over the United States doors windows moldings turnings our newest machine in the whole place is 1948 same year I was born corner blogs I did 1200 of these by hand you want to see one done sure I still got it well if this tree is 1800 years old that Rome would have been going okay I think I'm a would first we're good people up here we're using the same kind of equipment that the original guys used clear back when well when my grandfather's grandfather would have been doing this I liken it to a train going down the road well as the trains going down the track the Train of society its scooping up information scooping up scooping up scooping it scooping up as it goes down the track for some reason the Train can only hold so much information I don't know why and the guy on the caboose is throwing the information off as fast as he can to make room for new information coming on the front and the problem with that is that the information we're throwing off is the information it took us 25 thousand years to glean we first had the idea that's cool 25 years ago these are kids that would not otherwise be in school starting at the top is the puppet school system if you get kicked out of there you go to continuation high school get kicked out of that you go to locally here's O Barnum if you get kicked out of that the last rung of the ladder is called court-ordered community school and that's what these students are and they're great kids there isn't anything wrong with them they're just doers and not setters every single time I see wood or something I'll just try to make something out of it didn't see oh nice I fought my way through school so I get these kids I get that when you can't fit in then you got to look for some other way to fit and that ain't always pleasant through at the shop they get to fit in they get to fit in just being themselves they get to fit in by making something quiet place huh even even with my ringing in the ears is quiet he makes the ringing in the ears go away I ran away from the monsters for 45 years and I ran a damn good race you know I used work I work myself to the bone every day of the week seven days a week and I use beer drink a beer at night and when I'd fall into bed and everything to define now I've reached an age where the beer doesn't work and I can't work as quite as hard anymore and I am a veteran I'm a front line infantry veteran I was in some of the heaviest combat in Vietnam at a month and a half into nineteen years old I got to Eric's going on all the time I've got a 65 year old Eric and I have an 18 year old scared to death little kid you you take a spring and you bend the coil spring you can try and bend it back and you can get it close but you can never get that spring back to her it originally was and that's what happened to all of us we got bent I see now at 65 that that's what I did I built my own Island I built my own Island I don't I didn't have to get off of that's why we got a blacksmith shop that's why we got a machine shop that's why we got a saw mill and a molder building and a foundry and all the other things so that I don't got to go to the store I don't got to go to no place I just make whatever I got hey why don't you want to go because I don't fit it's not a that and me aren't a good fit in 45 years I have bent the spring back without snapping edges close to what it was as I can get it but it don't never come back when you make something when you go through the process all the steps and at the end you have a finished product that you made with your own hands out of your own mind that is your own design it's a reflection of your soul you can start with nothing and build your own company it's coming from somebody who did that I have tried to do something positive out of the experience and we were just contacted by the Veterans Administration and asked if we would start a school for returning vets I'm suddenly seeing that there was there was arrived and the reason for it it just wasn't the rhyme and reason I thought there was I'm at a point in my life and my craftsmanship now that I get that feeling when I see the young people but I tell you something they're gonna take us places that I never even dreamed you're filming here every film that you've ever make has got two stories what's the film about and then what's the film really about it's about the pride of making something it's about the pride of doing for yourself and I go back to the Golden Gate Bridge story and the pride of those craftsmen that built something that everybody in the world knew full well could not be built at the end they could think of what they must have thought when the first carriage ran over that thing where the hell of you in whole world there's only two kinds of jobs there's a job you take a shower before you go to work in the morning and there's a job that you take a shower when you come home from work at night and the world needs both of us you you

34 Comments

  • G Moore

    April 12, 2019

    Woodworking has been my savior! Great story and I certainly can relate to everything you said.

    Reply
  • Aslak Vind

    April 12, 2019

    I can personally relate to every word he says, with his mouth and his fingers.

    Reply
  • JC Mendoza

    April 12, 2019

    Moved by this one! Legend!

    Reply
  • Nico Geo

    April 12, 2019

    This was absolutely great! Truly inspirational to me. I will share it with my children. ? I could have watched for hours. Is there a series on the way?

    Reply
  • blake102989

    April 12, 2019

    Why is this video so short? And who the fuck would dislike this

    Reply
  • gary mcdermott

    April 12, 2019

    Love you Brother !

    Reply
  • Punisher SORIANO

    April 12, 2019

    Your story touched me
    Keep building

    Reply
  • longfinger

    April 12, 2019

    Such a wonderful man! God bless him! ??

    Reply
  • feelthepayne88

    April 12, 2019

    This guy is awesome, and I've only watched two minutes so far.

    Reply
  • Peter Fenwick

    April 12, 2019

    Beautiful and inspirational. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Ryan Navarre

    April 12, 2019

    Yeah where is the mural?

    Reply
  • Joseph Brauer

    April 12, 2019

    Thank You

    Reply
  • Steve Adkisson

    April 12, 2019

    The world should “fit” this man not the other way round. This is beyond inspiring……thank you, thank you for this film.

    Reply
  • paul newson

    April 12, 2019

    soo good!!

    Reply
  • Rob T

    April 12, 2019

    That was incredible!

    Reply
  • Rain Coast

    April 12, 2019

    Well said Sir. Well said indeed.

    Reply
  • Darrell Peters

    April 12, 2019

    You can never go back, this is all I am now so it's the humanity within the lions share left

    Reply
  • Darrell Peters

    April 12, 2019

    Thank you so much for your gift of giving brothren

    Reply
  • Kevin Felt

    April 12, 2019

    Fantastic.

    Reply
  • Allen Smith

    April 12, 2019

    I was by no means a bad kid growing up and would have loved an education that only this place offers. But opportunities of this sort are WASTED on kids that can't get their shit together and society routinely forgets about the "normal" good kids that need a helping hand but won't waste it. Want to know why the trades are disappearing. It's because we aren't training the "normal" kid anymore. Everyone is focused on the "problem" kid and that kid won't be a good steward of the trade.

    Reply
  • HASH

    April 12, 2019

    No matter which country you are fighting for, soldiers are deserve top respect from civilian life forms. They take them too young, take their civilian identity, crush it, change it to fit in army life, then send them to war… no one can understand meaning of life better then them.. Wish you peace sir, from another side of the globe!

    Reply
  • Scott Bott

    April 12, 2019

    Ya…. but new machines do it perfect. All day. Everyday. So….

    Reply
  • 111111 33

    April 12, 2019

    How to bend the spring back to its original shape , using your own brain secretion
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kE6sFoK-PYw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3GjKTtSRrQ

    Reply
  • Hans Ruperts

    April 12, 2019

    Wow! those Young people are very fortunate, they are getting a superior education in that workshop, much better that the school system that will dumb them down and turn them into slave drones.

    Reply
  • James Patrick

    April 12, 2019

    I'm currently in the process of transferring from a job where I would shower in the mornings (banking) to a job where I will shower in the evenings (working with my hands). I'm doing it because I want to be happy. I just never heard it put that way; showering before/after.

    Reply
  • Jacob Easton

    April 12, 2019

    I wish this was a few hours longer.

    Reply
  • Peter Krakana

    April 12, 2019

    I have never heard put into words exactly how I have felt my whole life.This man is truly an inspiration. Thank You for making this video!

    Reply
  • Buil Dinit

    April 12, 2019

    DOERS NOT SITTERS………….well said. should be more of these schools. some people make money with their hands and you can take it anywhere to make money

    Reply
  • Imperfect Art's

    April 12, 2019

    I am also one of the broken ones. I've done many things in my life, none of them very well but they were what was expected of me. 20 or so years ago, I became disabled and was awarded a pension. Today, I live in my own world. I make things, still not very well but they work for me. I've arranged my life is such a way that I have as little to do with the world as humanly possible. If I need it, and I can make it, that's what I do. If I need it but it is beyond my ability to make and if I can afford to I but it. If I can't make it or buy it, I guess I don't really need it all that bad after all. I don't know Eric Hollenbeck personally but I do know him as a brother.

    Reply
  • Brad Preston

    April 12, 2019

    An awesome video of making a difference in those young people that society gave up on.

    Reply
  • oitotheworld23

    April 12, 2019

    The profundity of his messages is paradoxically heightened by its expression in poor grammar…there’s something beautiful about the depths of the truths he conveys while using “improper” English.

    Reply
  • Abel V. McKing McGill

    April 12, 2019

    Powerful story Eric.

    Reply
  • i dontcare

    April 12, 2019

    Thank you for this wonderful film. Very timely for me personally and I believe everybody. I just shared this on facebook so my friends will benefit from it too.

    Reply
  • Ian Damian Lucifer Wilson

    April 12, 2019

    With reference to the shower quote. My old grandad used to say “you will never be wealthy when you are working and you got to wash your hands BEFORE you have a piss”. He was right on a lot of things was grandad.

    Reply

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