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jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

age & commissions 

I've reached the age of 75 and am considering accepting no more commissions. We will just build guitars and offer them up on our web page as they are completed. The thought of dying and leaving my partner in life Susan with a bunch of unfulfilled commissions bothers me. I don't want her to have to deal with refunding deposits and explaining things to customers. Right now we are at least a year out on completing the current orders and I don't want it to go any farther.

What do you think? Is this premature or is 75 a good cutoff point?

I'm in pretty good shape for someone my age and still work hard every day but I can definitely feel my age, particularly when I get involved with things like repairing my tractor which is really hard labor and is occupying way too much of my time right now. I hate greasy fingers and trying to move heavy implements around. Right now it's the chipper attachment (800 lbs) which is in my way and a leaking calcium solution filled tractor tire (300 lbs). I feel like I'm getting too old for this kind of BS.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 17 2017 22:37:09
 
nhills

Posts: 230
Joined: Jul. 13 2003
From: West Des Moines, IA USA

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

Hi!
Forget the tractors and all that crap - they don't matter, unless they are required for survival.
And - yah; cut off the wait list; you've earned it.
I'm 76 and retired years ago. Never been so busy in my life!
Cheers,
Norman

_____________________________

"The duende is God's orgasm." - Antonio Canales

"I'm just a poor crazy man in love with his art." - Santos Hernandez (as translated by R. Brune)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 17 2017 22:44:53
 
Paul Magnussen

Posts: 1732
Joined: Nov. 8 2010
From: London (living in the Bay Area)

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

What do you think? Is this premature or is 75 a good cutoff point?


Absolutely! Go for it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 17 2017 23:17:13
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3308
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

What do you think? Is this premature or is 75 a good cutoff point?


[Joke alert:] No, keep taking the commissions, your wife can always outsource the making of guitars with the help of your nephews.... "viuda y sobrinos...."

[Seriously:] Yes! Get someone else to fix your tractor! Anyway, sounds llike it doesn't mean you will stop making guitars, just that you won't leave a mess for your nearest and dearest to have to sort out.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 18 2017 13:38:02
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo
[Seriously:] Yes! Get someone else to fix your tractor! Anyway, sounds llike it doesn't mean you will stop making guitars, just that you won't leave a mess for your nearest and dearest to have to sort out.

I wish there were someone to fix my tractor. We live about 45 miles from the nearest tractor repair shop and at this point the tractor can't be moved so I'm stuck fixing it. We use the tractor regularly, it's pretty much an essential tool.

I've thought about this overnight and decided I'll just stop accepting deposits so there's no chance of Susan needing to make refunds. I'll never stop making guitars. What would I do with myself for the long winter months?.....Buy a recliner and watch tv?...Travel?...NO! I don't even like to leave this beautiful place to drive into town for grocery shopping.

Right now we're building a crazy guitar for a customer in Texas. It's a double top, double body with an extremely oversized box. I had to order a custom sized case for it. It looks like it will be the last of the really unusual commissions since there's no way I'd build something like this on spec.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 18 2017 14:35:36
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2254
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

John,

We are the same age and I can tell you that you're doing good to think about these things. I'm taking time with my current build and it will be for sale when I'm finished.

There is no reason to take pre-pay anymore, as the ideal is to actually finish a guitar, then sell it. Seems like you've thought things through.

_____________________________

Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2017 16:55:51
 
sartorius

Posts: 206
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

There's a moment for each thing but in the case of guitar building/playing, one just can't stop unless an ailing body/mind comes in the way. It IS our mission to do so but with age man tends to get better at appreciating the HERE and NOW and sure that means not indulging in promises anymore or accepting orders.

Now, I am enjoying (IN JOY IN) my life.

.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2017 18:35:30
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3134
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: age & commissions (in reply to nhills

quote:

ORIGINAL: nhills

Hi!
<...>
I'm 76 and retired years ago. Never been so busy in my life!
Cheers,
Norman


My mentor and very good friend, 12 years older than I and retired, stopped by my office to chat. He said he had unintentionally annoyed an acquaintance. The acquaintance said to him that he was busier after he retired than he was while still working. My friend replied, "Yes, I've noticed that after I got older I slowed down a bit too." My friend said it made the other guy mad.

I'm 79. I had to give up working when I turned 72.

It was taking up too much of my time....

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2017 22:48:19
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard Jernigan

I'm 79. I had to give up working when I turned 72.

It was taking up too much of my time....

RNJ

Well I certainly understand that. We've been in the habit of pretty much taking summers off from guitar making so we could raise our garden, do grounds maintenance and otherwise just enjoy the beautiful weather. This year we're working in the shop every other day since we're so far behind and now our little paradise is very overgrown, the grapes need pruning, the garden is weedy, the tractor needs work, the blackberries, raspberries and Loganberries need picking. The place is not very presentable but I really don't care as long as I can have a glass of wine in the late afternoon and commiserate with my cat out on the porch. As they say, "getting old is not for sissy's" but I can wholeheartedly testify that it's better than the alternative.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2017 23:33:41
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3134
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

ORIGINAL: jshelton5040
Well I certainly understand that. We've been in the habit of pretty much taking summers off from guitar making so we could raise our garden, do grounds maintenance and otherwise just enjoy the beautiful weather. This year we're working in the shop every other day since we're so far behind and now our little paradise is very overgrown, the grapes need pruning, the garden is weedy, the tractor needs work, the blackberries, raspberries and Loganberries need picking. The place is not very presentable but I really don't care as long as I can have a glass of wine in the late afternoon and commiserate with my cat out on the porch. As they say, "getting old is not for sissy's" but I can wholeheartedly testify that it's better than the alternative.


Good for you two, John.

I had a great run at working. The mentor I mentioned in the previous post taught me how to work in industry while retaining both my integrity and a considerable degree of personal freedom. When the company environment began to make that more and more difficult, i went out on my own.

Eventually I came across a small employee owned company, with a very high caliber of people. Best job I ever had.

When the Cold War ended, I needed a new field of endeavor. I was lucky enough to know of a place where the levels of morale and work execution were high, the B.S. level was low, and the physical environment was very attractive to me. This continued for 16 good years, until circumstances led to a real decline in work environment. After a couple of years I quit, and have never looked back.

I feel like I was very fortunate in finding good places to work, or being able to make it on my own. As long as you are your own bosses, you are way better off than most people.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 20 2017 1:17:12
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3247
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: age & commissions (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

When the Cold War ended, I needed a new field of endeavor.


I am one of those fortunate souls for whom work was never just "work"; rather, it was a calling. My entire professional career, from my early days in the Air Force, many years in the Foreign Service of the U.S. State Department, into retirement and consulting, I have always been involved in foreign affairs, diplomacy, and national security. At the age of 74, I continue these endeavors. The Cold War ended, but the challenges the U.S. faces in dipomacy and national security, though changed, are ever present.

While I still consult with the State Department and DoD contractors, I have plenty of time for other activities and thus see no need to cease what has been my life's primary mission. What is problematical is the current Administration's position regarding proposed drastic cuts in the State Department's budget. Congress will never approve the proposed 30 percent cut in the State Department's budget, but we are likely to see vastly reduced funding. If that should adversely affect my State Department consulting gig, Marta and I would simply travel more on our own dime.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 20 2017 14:33:22
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

At the age of 54 I'm in the midst of the next Cold War beginning in the East China Sea. I'm thinking over the idea of returning to vocational school to learn Sanitation Engineering so I have something to fall back on when I'm 90 and I can stop losing money making guitars.

There's just an incredible amount of money to lose and someone has to do that job. Of course I could just buy a big boat and waste my money on dockage and haul out fees, and blow the rest on keeping the engines, decks, cabins, pumps and all important parts in top condition and uncorroded. But I've never taken the easy way out, and gosh darn it, owning a boat is really the lazy mans way to lose a lot of money. Lose in leisure, sure buddy, but that's not my way.

I work hard to lose the money and I'm proud of that. Guitar making provides a guy with the golden opportunity to not only lose a hell of a lot of money through gradual brain and body grinding hard work, but it affords the maker real prestige in the community. You may lose a lot of money at the work bench but the two grams of prestige makes it all worth it.

Some people say when will you retire? I say well I'm losing so much money I really can't retire, but I might slow down around 80 or so and work 3/4 ths of the time. I think quitting altogether would be real hard and possibly profitable. And besides, QUIT! Hell, why would I want to leave show business??



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https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 22 2017 5:03:02
 
NorCalluthier

 

Posts: 136
Joined: Apr. 16 2016
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

Hello John,

I'm with you on stopping taking orders---when the time pressure went away, I became a much happier luthier.

I'm 77 and in excellent health thanks to being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 60. I refused medication, and went on a very low-carbohydrate diet, over the strenuous objections of my doc---it's high fat. I lost 40 pounds, and was back to normal in 5 months, a month ahead of schedule.

In June I completed my 17th year on the diet, and have never been hungry! I get to eat all kinds of rich foods, and as much as I want. It turns out that the low-carb diet protects us against all the modern maladies that do us in when we get older. There is a bunch of good science to back all this up, and I'm happy to send a list of links on the subject to anyone that's interested.

While I don't have the stamina I had as a young man, I'm figuring on another 10-15 years building guitars.

Cheers,

Brian
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 0:29:19
 
sartorius

Posts: 206
Joined: Mar. 7 2017
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to NorCalluthier

Congratulations!!! You are an example for the younger generations and hell for doctors . All we need can be found in nature (or confying in your body's natural functions) even natural remedies to severe ailments. Problem is few people are ready to believe it and, as always, example is the best way to demonstrate any point. Most unfortunately people are still in the belief that doctors know it all and will cure them, even old people. A shame...

Regain your personal power now!!!

(I'm interested in knowing which carbs you are very low with or even not consuming, thx).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 9:50:34
 
benros

 

Posts: 144
Joined: Aug. 27 2016
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to NorCalluthier

hi brian, i would be interested in information about your diet and scientific backing of it.
thanks and greetings,
ben
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 12:59:44
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to NorCalluthier

Brian,

Years ago I tried Adkin's diet and it worked and I felt fine but there was something about it that put me off. Perhaps just the fact that I have always loved vegetables and fruit more than red meat and cheese. The last weird diet I tried has no name, it was given to me my an epidemiologist friend. It was simple...no grains of any kind and no potatoes....otherwise eat anything and as much as you want. The weight absolutely fell off and I felt fine but again it was hard to make a nice meal without using some kind of grain. Now I'm on a simple balanced diet heavy on vegetables, fruit and fish with very little animal flesh or cheese, no snacks and two basic meals a day. Blood pressure and general health seem fine for someone who in the past has done everything possible to destroy a fine body. Some wise man once said, "if I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself".

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 14:26:02
 
NorCalluthier

 

Posts: 136
Joined: Apr. 16 2016
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

Hello John,

The easiest way for me to forward my low-carb diet info is for you to email me directly with just low-carb in the title. Promoting the low-carb diet is my hobby, and I'm delighted to share what I've learned. When something saves your life by saving your health, you take an interest in it!

I eat lots of vegetables, and will forward a list of the low-carb, and not so low-carb ones, along with a list of links to what I've found to be the best sources of info.

I love science, when it's well done. As a teenager I came under the influence of some excellent scientists as a Stanford Physics major, and later working as a tech at the Stanford Microwave Lab.

My favorite author on diet is Gary Taubes who has a degree in Astro Physics from Stanford, as well as a journalism degree from Columbia.

My email: brian@lessonsinlutherie.com

And, as an avid gardener I can tell you that you don't need a tractor, unless you are farming to make a living---almost as chancey as making guitars for the purpose!

Solution #1---Ruth Stout's heavy mulch method. See her book:

"Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent"

https://tinyurl.com/ybya2mq7 for her books on Amazon

Solution #2---John Jeavon's French intensive method. If you want more yield for more work. His books on Amazon:

https://tinyurl.com/ycg3lxo3

Cheers,

Brian

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 15:48:16
 
NorCalluthier

 

Posts: 136
Joined: Apr. 16 2016
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

Hello Ben---and anyone else that's interested.

Just send me an email so that I get your email address, and I'll get the diet info off to you right away.

brian@lessonsinlutherie.com

Cheers,

Brian
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 15:53:47
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 2254
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to NorCalluthier

Hi Brian,

For some reason your e-mail captures mine in multiples so my address is:

tguitars@texas.net

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Tom Blackshear Guitar maker
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 17:13:52
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

I don't want her to have to deal with refunding deposits and explaining things to customers

exactly so ...your 75 man .. no more commisions build one guitar at a time...
Although the "refunding deposits " bit maybe planning too far ahead ,, and Mark Indigo , with the nephews bit seems to be planning even further ,,

Build a guitar ...as good as you can , take your time ..up for sale ,,,
start again ....
If you dont finish the last one ...put in a clause that it gets shipped to one of the luthiers on here ...they will finish and do it justice
End

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Don't trust Atoms.....they make up everything.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 17:54:11
 
jshelton5040

Posts: 1500
Joined: Jan. 17 2005
 

RE: age & commissions (in reply to El Kiko

quote:

ORIGINAL: El Kiko
Build a guitar ...as good as you can , take your time ..up for sale ,,,
start again ....
If you dont finish the last one ...put in a clause that it gets shipped to one of the luthiers on here ...they will finish and do it justice


Excellent advice I'm sure but I've never been able to build just one guitar. I like to build 3-5 at once. That way I don't have to twiddle my thumbs waiting for glue to dry.

It's amazing how this happens, it just seems like you're going along fine and suddenly realize you're old. You look in the mirror and an old man stares back. It's a little disconcerting! The worst thing though is losing your old friends.

_____________________________

John Shelton - www.sheltonfarrettaguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 23 2017 21:58:23
 
Cervantes

 

Posts: 477
Joined: Jun. 14 2014
From: Encinitas, CA USA

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

Juan Miguel Gonzalez finished Gernudino's guitars and Marcelo Barbero finished Santo Hernandez. Don't worry about leaving a guitar unfinished, somebody good will take them over. I am 60 and have done a lot of improvements to my home and still doing them, when I look at what I have done I am proud of it because it looks and works great and will last the next owner a long time. Just think of all the guitars you have built and are being enjoyed by their owners and will be around for a long time. I think you are doing the right thing by taking the pressure off and enjoying your work more and not stopping.

_____________________________

Ah well, there was a fantastic passion there, in my case anyway. I discovered flamenco
very early on. It grips you in a way that you can't get away - Paco Pena
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2017 0:36:36
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: age & commissions (in reply to jshelton5040

quote:

You look in the mirror and an old man stares back.

That happened to me once .... I had to move him out of the way ,,,hey ,... old guy .. get out of the way
I can't see myself in the mirror
.
.
What is his problem ?
And why is he at your house now ?

_____________________________

Don't trust Atoms.....they make up everything.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 24 2017 14:51:21
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