Okay, I know I'm borrowing heavily from Harold S. Kushner, author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People". Hope he doesn't mind. I'm so busy bubbling I just couldn't think of a truly original title (if there even is such a thing).
On Friday evening my Thurman neighbors Gary and Wini Martin learned that Gary, who owns and operates Martin's Lumber, a Certified Tree Farm and sawmill -- a classic mom and pop business run with the help of Wini's brother Bill -- had been selected as one of just ten semi-finalists in the I Love NY "Greenest New Yorker" competition for 2011. What a tribute--and one Gary well deserves! He honors the rule our parents' and grandparents' generations lived by: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or go without." And he remembers hearing his grandfather saying, "Take care of your woods, and your woods will take care of you." A small boy at that time, Gary didn't understand what his grandfather meant, but today he does, and he works daily at taking care of his tree farm, selectively cutting and utilizing every bit of wood from the trees he saws, right down to the sawdust.
Not to be outdone in the "green" department, Wini, when she isn't out helping him saw, turns junk mail into jewelry--transforming glossy ad fliers into exquisite beads for earrings, bracelets and necklaces. She also custom designs commemorative gifts from wedding/engagement/save the date announcements and other special paper items.
As a team, they have carved a special place in the Thurman landscape, hosting open houses during maple weekends, and on a daily basis welcoming customers as guests, sharing a fresh-baked cookie and a cup of coffee and guiding them on a woodswalk to show just how Martin's Lumber protects and preserves the forest for generations to come.
So what's next? The public gets to vote Gary into the top three candidates for "Greenest New Yorker" and you can vote, too, once a day, every day through April 17th. And do you visit Facebook? Log on and tell us what not-for-profit "green" organization you think Gary should select to receive $500 given by I Love NY if he wins. We've listed some ideas, but you may add your own. It's fun when good things happen to good people. It's GREAT when you help make those things happen.
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