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Victoria

Oh! You've just "invited" me to tell one of my favorite stories. -- My Greek-immigrant husband is an artist who has a large studio on SF Bay full of many big machines and mounds of clutter, wood chips, and metal shavings. Somewhere in that mess, the Greek has kept a small anvil that used to belong to his father. A precious memento from childhood.

One day last fall, a family with two children happened into the building and in the course of conversation it came out that the 8-year-old boy, Morgan, loves blacksmithing, which is his Grandpa's hobby.

"Really?" The Greek turned to Morgan, "Do you have an anvil?"

"Wellllll...not really. I have an 'I-bean' my Dad got."

"Well, I'll tell you something - over in that corner there's an anvil that is just about your size. I'll make you a deal - If you can lift it, you can have it."

That little boy turned on a dime and charged into the corner where he eye-balled the anvil immediately (not easy in that mess, believe me). He gave it a test tug, then went looking for fulcrum material to help lift it off the ground. Pretty soon he had it up.

"Great! It's yours! Let me find a cart to help you get it to the car. And here, you should have some good hammers, too."

And, oh yeah, he made sure Morgan's 10-year-old sister, Avery, got something to take home, too.

This is how we came to have the picture of all pictures on our kitchen bulletin board: A grinning Morgan in full regalia - leather apron, gloves, and goggles - sitting on the ground next to his little burning forge, with anvil and hammers carefully displayed around him. I doubt that it's ever coming down, it's just so good for our health to gaze at him there.

One of the coolest 8-year-old hobbies ever.

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