the places that inspired
can tell stories just like people do. They have their own fire,
voice, and soul. The places that are the basis for The
Carpenter’s Notebook whose streets I’ve walked, ran, biked,
and drove—like the projects and lessons Gideon writes about in the
book—are my history. And my future.—Mark
Mass. The setting of The Carpenter’s Notebook
is loosely based on Mark’s grandfather’s milltown. The bar where
Brendan takes Jesse, Man Lushee’s, thrived in Rockdale for most
of the last century. The mill, the river, Lavallee’s Diner, and
the good energy described in The Carpenter’s Notebook
are all real, too. Rockdale has barely changed since Mark was a
boy in the 1970s. But it was there, in his youth with a grandfather
who loved him, that he knew life could be OK and that people could
love each other.
Beach. Mark lifeguarded at Craigville for two summers
and grew up just a few miles away in west Barnstable,
Massachusetts. Life at Craigville is how beach life should be—beautiful,
sandy, and full of fun.
Fatima in New Hampshire is the inspiration for the camp that
Brendan Herlihy’s daughters spend the summer. It only took one summertime
visit to see his friend Kevin Morrison while he was working as a
camp counselor, for the lake, towering conifers, and endless acres
of fresh cut grass to leave a lasting impression on Mark.
Tombs. World famous, Washington, DC’s "Tombs”
in the heart of Georgetown
University is the place where Mark made the first real connection
in his mind between carpentry and living well. He did a lot of projects
in The Tombs (or as the kitchen guys called it—Las Tombas!) and
got his start as a home improvement carpenter there.
Clarendon Grill. Located just across the Potomac River from
The Tombs in Arlington, Virginia, Mark built the bar and installed
much of the interior trim at The Clarendon
Grill was the beginning Mark’s business going full-time into the
trades, a decision that changed his life forever. It was working this
job that Mark really began learning big chunks of the lessons that
would later—much later—become this book.
the People who inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook
out the books, music, and movies that inspired The Carpenter’s