Somewhere around 2000 or so I found myself in the town of McCloud for the winter with very little to do. At that time I worked with a guy who, with his wife, ran a candy store in town. They were moving it to a new location across the street and were investigating the cost of having cabinets built. Work like that is very expensive. That being the case, and since I had the ability and time to do the job, I said we should just work together and build them and he could save a lot of money. He thought that was a fine Idea and away we went.
We actually made a pretty good team. I knew how to make the cabinets and Steve was an excellent artist and designer. Our course of action was for him to design what he wanted, me to figure out how to make it and get the materials, then we would do the work together. It was a good partnership and we accomplished a lot in short order.
Steve didn’t want just any kind of candy shop. No, he wanted something that looked like it had been around since the 1890’s and came straight out of Disneyland. That made it challenging, but we figured no guts no glory. Each week Steve would come up with some very nice designs and each week we would do or best to bring his drawings to life. We had to come up with some creative ways to make things work but that was part of the fun. Some of the things we did may not have been industry standard, but when you put two firemen together on a quest the job gets done…one way or the other.
Most of what we did went smoothly and what didn’t go smoothly ended up in the wood stove heating the shop so there was never any traceable evidence of mistakes. Perhaps the biggest obstacle we had to overcome was building the large curved counter cabinet that sat right inside the door. At one point we were bending plywood over a frame. A bit too much pressure was applied and a couple screws tore out and our frame ended up in two pieces on the floor. There MAY have been a bad word or two uttered immediately following that episode, but in the end it all worked out and we were able to complete our task.
During the project Steve designed, I built, and he helped, and when it was all said and done it looked as close to a Disneyland candy store as a mere mortal could come. Counters, cabinets, countertops, entry doors…everything in the store came from that shop that winter. Never did I hear of anyone who went inside that failed to love what they found. That was one of the best winters I have ever spent, and the candy rewards at the end of production were well worth the effort. My only regret is that several years after were done Steve was no longer able to get my favorite candy…tart bears. But hey, maybe someday they will make a comeback.