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Carpenter, cabinet-maker, writer, he began in his youth with a chicken house built of used lumber. Hands leading eyes and mind he found he could build almost anything: clocks, cabinets, tables, chairs, desks, boats, houses - work superbly whatever wood declared itself right by taste that fixed on the horizon of perfection he longed for but could not reach.

Late in life, turning from wood to words he polished facts to eloquence, fitted thought to thought as grain to grain in carpentry. Grounded in memory his horizon of words led him and me and a California visitor to the farm where, sixty years after, we found the massive white mansion abandoned, mouldering in the hungry ground, its chicken house still standing, a thing of beauty.

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