Grammy walked across the road headed towards the shop, AKA "Barrett's Allagash Experience". Inside were Mac, his step-father Barrett, and cousin-in-law Matt. They were building a changing table for Mac's soon-to-be-born baby boy.
At the particular moment when Grammy entered the shop, Barrett was fastening some pine together for the doors, Matt was sanding every crook and nanny of the table by hand, and Mac was sitting on a stool drinking beer. The sound of laughter drowned out the background music, which was crackling out of an old FM radio that looked itself to be older than the 1950s country music it was playing.
Grammy moseyed on over to Mac and said,
"Y'know, you guys remind me of the Spit and Whittle Club."
The Spit & Whittle Club, Grammy explained, was a phenomenon that took place in downtown Caribou, Maine, when she was a little girl in a family, and a town, full of potato farmers.
Every weekend, the farmers would all load their wives and children into a wagon and make the long journey into town. When they got to town, the women would go shopping, and the men would make their way over to the veterinarian's barn to see what the horse doctor was up to.
In his office, the vet had a bunch of old wooden chairs and stools which - on a nice day - he would drag outside for his visitors. The men would all sit around and chat, much like the old fellers still do today between 4 and 6am at breakfast diners all across America.
Many of the men would pull out a knife and whittle on a piece of wood while they talked and laughed, and cursed and spat in public, having no need to mind their manners with the women off somewhere else. The spectacle grew to such a point of popularity and consistency, that it got a name. The women would laughingly send their men to "The Spit & Whittle Club" to keep them entertained while the shopping was done.
Sounds a bit like the smattering of gift shops and bars along coastal Maine, doesn't it?
Now Mac is reviving the old Spit and Whittle Club in his garage workshop. It's a place for conversation, collaboration. This website is a place for Spit & Whittlers to sell their wares without having to pay for their own website, or spend a weekend sitting at a table at some craft fair. If you'd like to get your products online, and don't mind helping spread the word, contact Mac.
Now Mac is reviving the old Spit and Whittle Club in his garage workshop. It's a place for conversation and collaboration.
This website is a place for craftsmen and artists to sell their wares without having to pay for their own website, or spend their lives behind a booth at a craft fair.
If you'd like to get your products online, and don't mind helping spread the word, contact Mac.