Sweetland Orchard is a little family farm and cidery thirty five miles south of Minneapolis. To get there you take a dirt road that is sentineled by cats. When I arrived, a border collie came over and gently laid a pine cone at my feet. I understand the language of dogs, so I threw it as far as I could. The pine cone soon manifested itself back at my feet.
It was my grandfather’s opinion of parachutes was that they were wholly unnecessary unless (A) it would be otherwise unhealthy to stay on a plane, or (B) you are invading Europe. His opinion of Europe was somewhat constrained as well: “It’s dirty and people shoot at you.” He didn’t plan his visit there at its best moment.
Matt Dunn loved Halloween when he was a kid, but not because it meant going door to door to requisition candy from strangers. “I was a born magician, and I always loved creating illusions,” said Matt. “Whenever Halloween was coming up, I’d stay home to rig up the entire house with strings and pulleys so I could move bushes and fly bats around when trick or treaters came to the door. I was like a deranged Macaulay Culkin.”
As anyone who has ever witnessed me play golf would attest, I am not good at golf. As soon as I go to a course which hasn’t got giant fiberglass animals on it, I am lost. I spend so much time in the sand trap that I could bill ExxonMobil for overtime, and I’ve heard faint Mandarin spoken through some of the divots I’ve made.
“I made this chair and table set for a couple in Stillwater,” explained Manny Moreno as we looked through his binder of past commissions together. “They live in a gated community that wouldn’t let them put any kind signs on their lawn. As strict as those rules are, though, they don’t dictate anything about patio furniture. The couple told me the message they wanted to get across, and I designed something that they loved. Now they’ve got something meaningful on their porch, and they’re sticking it to their HOA in style!”