I shipped an old Delta lathe in the container with the idea of making some big game fishing lures I had in mind. I had never used a lathe before but happened to catch Dave Hout on the DYI network. I managed to “scrape” away enough from a 2X2 from the lumber year to create a blank to create a mold for the lure (it turned out to be a very successful design). Later, a neighbor gave me a piece of firewood from his pile along with a small chunk of Norfolk Pine. I “created” a couple of very ugly bowls but was hooked. I managed to gather up some monkey pod and tried to turn it on a lathe with only 4 speeds, none of them slow. Since I knew I was hooked, I had the Woodcraft in Honolulu put a Jet 1642EVS onto a barge and ship to the Big Island and I was into the game. Little did I realize, the lathe was to be the cheapest part of woodturning. As I started to create my first “real” bowl, I logged onto the AAW website after a search engine lead me to it. I’m not sure exactly how I introduced myself, but shortly afterwards, Dave Somers, from Volcano, HI., emailed me with an offer to help and within a few days he made the 2 hour drive over to my place for some hands on help. He mentioned that a group of turners from the Big Island Woodturners were planning to create a West Side group since it’s a 5 hour round trip from the Kona side to the Hilo side. Little did I expect that the turners involved were well known professionals, Kelly Dunn, Gregg Smith, Cliff Johns, Frank Sharp, Jack Straka, etc. and I was blown away by the offers of help from these gents. Turning wasn't their hobby but their livelyhoods. Their generosity with their time and expertise was just exceptional. With their help, critiques (sometime harsh) and encouragement, I believe I have become a pretty decent turner and sales at the galleries have supported my belief. It is simply incredible that the world of turners seems, almost without exception, to provide all the help one asks for and without an agenda other than the rewards of helping the novice. I try to live up to the examples demonstrated by those who have helped me by paying it forward to the next turner.