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Rockdale Sign
Rocdale Mill
Man Lushee's
Craigville Beach Sign
Craigville Beach
The Tombs


Visit the places that inspired


Places 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 Clement

Rockdale, 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.


Craigville 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.


Camp Fatima. Camp 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.


The 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.


The 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.



• Meet the People who inspired The Carpenter’s Notebook

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

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