Jason, the piper, at Wadsworth Falls in Winter
To find Bill Ruffino you just follow Route 157 from Middletown to Rockfall, which is midway between Middletown and Middlefield, and right after the Citgo station, which is the turn off for Wadsworth Falls. Half a mile further, along route 157, you'll find a modest sign on the right that states: "Bill's Work of Art."
Billy and Jimmy working in the shop
A shout of exhileration goes up from Bill, "Looks great," he shouts, "like a soaring bird." After a few more flights the plane taxis in for a landing. "Come on inside Jimmy," says Bill, "I'll show you how to use the jigsaw."
Jimmy experiments, using the fine-bladed saw to cut patterns into the strip of wood. Bill inspects the work when he's finished. "Not bad," he says, "not bad at all for a start."
There is a knock at the door and two heads peer into the building. Bill looks up to see Rob LeBlanc and a friend. "Hello," says Rob, "I brought my friend Simmy over to see some of your work, that is if you're not too busy."
"No, come in," smiles Bill, "We were just about finished in here anyway. Jimmy's just waiting for his cousin Jason to come in from the cape. They should be here pretty soon."
While Bill puts his tools away they go toward the main house. On the way up the front steps Great-grandfather Ruffino, a hardy looking man, tan and healty from his work in the fields, greets them with an armful of corn and some local peaches. "Take these with you when you leave," he smiles.
Inside the house they are cordially greeted by Mother/grandmother/great-grandmother Ruffino. "Come on in," she says, opening the door in warm greeting.
Rob nods his head in appreciation of the clock. "I thought you'd like it," he replies.
Simmy looks at a clock, similar in some ways to the one in the living room, but of a more oriental design. "It's on a revolving pedestal," says Bill, who with a movement of his wrist, rotates the clock 180 degrees so that the other side can be seen.
"Beautiful work," says Simmy.
"Thanks," replies Bill, "I just finished this collie's head, up there." He points to a collection of dog's head's he has constructed over the years. "The collie took me a long time," he said, "Look at the different woods, the grains, and patterns in the wood."
"What's that mask for on the bedpost?" asks Simmy.
"Oh, he keeps the kids from bothering the huskies."
Bill nods his head, "Glad you came to visit," he says. "Jimmy, you show the guys out, will you?"
They thank Great-grandmother Ruffino and Great-grandfather Ruffino
for the gifts on their way to the pickup.
The two men drive the short distance down the road to Wadsworth Falls where they plan to sit and digest their sandwiches, bought earlier from Neon Deli in Middletown.
"That fellow is incredible," said Simmy, "He's truly an inspiration. I need to go back there to look again sometime."
"I'm sure you'd be welcome," says Rob.
They sat there at the base of Wadsworth Falls to sit and discuss
Bill's works of art while eating. At the same time they could watch that
powerful mass of water cascade down the falls, each drop a clock-tick of
its own from the greatest clockmaker in the Universe.
Starting a new work
Recently carved python
From the Dragon Collection
The Shingle . . .
Copyright Robert J. White -- August 23, 2000
Internet Site: http://www.wesleyan.edu/av/gronican.htm.
R.J. White editor SandCastle Lands E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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