“I like the carpentry but a lot of it is getting harder to do because I am not 22 years old anymore. And the competition is very competitive, and working alone—my son is helping me on occasion—but there is a lot I can’t do. Stained glass I can do rain or shine doesn’t matter. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I like the thought process behind it,” he said.
In Ron’s living room and bathroom, stain glass panels of landscapes and of women washing each other’s hair hang on the wall. By the kitchen are two long tables made from a cherry tree that he cut down from his father’s yard. The tabletops rest on old Singer sewing machines in place of conventional legs. He’s begun selling his furniture and stain glass at fairs and is now thinking about how to make this his full-time job.
He wonders if it would make more sense to relocate and pursue the furniture and stain glass work somewhere else. Maybe down South– somewhere that is easier to maneuver, somewhere that is less expensive.
“To get off the island is a process here, whereas if I were to move to Delaware or Maryland and set up a shop down there, I have a lot of outlets I can reach in a short amount of time.”
But Ron can’t imagine leaving the Hamptons for good. It’s where he grew up and raised his kids. It is where he has worked his entire life.
“There are a lot of places I want to go, but there’s no place I really want to move to,” says Ron. “No matter where you go, there’s going to be issues. It doesn’t matter what part of the country, what town you go, what city. There are going to be things people like and don’t like. I think we’ve seen the best of the best out here and now it is not so much as it was.”
*I spent my summers out in Bridgehampton and know Ron from the work he did on my family’s house.
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