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Pelletier House



Walsh deck





Kevin Morrison









Meet the People who inspired


I have been influenced and affected by the good people in my life who contribute something to the universe. They live richly and purely and I am lucky for knowing them and being a part of their lives.—Mark Clement

Arthur Isadore Pelletier. In The Carpenter’s Notebook , Gideon builds his first house for Arthur Pelletier. Arthur was Mark’s grandfather and as close to a dad as he ever had. Arthur, a man of meager schooling, but monumental wisdom, lived by a code. That code he expressed through the many sayings he shared in conversation. Perhaps his greatest is his simplest, and speaks to the inviolable dignity with which he lived his humble life: Character is who you are when nobody’s looking. Arthur died when Mark was young, but he believes as his mother does, that Arthur still looks out for his family, from out there in the ether along with his wife, Kay Herlihy.


Janice Theresa Clement. Without Mark’s mother’s desire to know and understand her own very hard life and without her willingness to share with her son what she’s learned, this book would not be written. She shares more stories now than ever of her father and tells Mark his great aphorisms, the rules by which he lived his life. Each is a treasure.


Michael Patrick Walsh. Mike’s father was a carpenter. Mike revered his dad and shared stories about him that inspired portions of Gideon’s story. Mike’s dad is gone now, but Mark truly hopes the spirit of those stories lives here in The Carpenter’s Notebook , stories about a boy’s love for his father. Mike also helped design, detail, and build a lot of the projects in this book. His house in Southern Maryland is the set for all of Gideon’s photos. We do good work—and that’s the truth.


Kevin Ryan Morrison. Kevin thought of the title of the book while he and Mark built a deck together in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, DC. Kevin and Mark met laughing as freshman at Saint Michael’s College, and have laughed and remained friends since.


David Walter Juliano. Dave too was a college roommate of Mark’s at Saint Michael’s College. He is the guy who “does not do what is comfortable; he does what is right.” And he lives a good life because of it.


Don Dunkley and Steve Veroneau. Both of these guys have sawdust running in their veins. Both builders, they are also craftsmen of good projects and good lives. They have helped Mark with building advice and have gotten him out of some home improvement jams. More importantly, they have helped Mark with life-improvement projects sharing their experience and good energy as easily and quickly as they build things that last.


Dr. Carey Kaplan. Mark’s favorite English professor at Saint Michael’s College she taught him (at least) one thing that has stuck with him and that he uses every time he thinks about a story: “Pay attention to the first sentence.”


• Visit the Places that inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook

• Check out the books, music, and movies that inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook



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