Herlihy's story is based on the author's own story.
Clement struggled as a young carpenter to learn his trade, grow
his business, and understand a challenging life. And, much like
Gideon, he was alone on his journey. His own father let him go long
ago. Even when his father was around, his father's example taught
him all the wrong lessons: failure, fear, and angst. Without a father,
he fought to overcome that perspective and to create his own meaning
and direction so he could live a peaceful, contented and happy life.
He has looked everywhere for what carpenters call "control
points"-fixed truths from which he could hook a philosophical
tape-measure to lay out and understand the bigger context of his
life and how it could be better. He found them through building.
thinking, endurance, the metaphysical abyss, beauty, success, and
victory all show up for work on a jobsite-where amidst all the mud,
sawdust, and progress they can be confronted, examined, and enjoyed.
Like the craft of building well, they can also be understood. Mark
learned the True Things that gird Gideon's life while teaching himself
how to build both home improvement projects
and his business. He then learned that these elements of craftsmanship
directly relate to success in relationships, business, and love.
he edits Tools of the Trade
magazine, a highly respected trade journal written for the residential
construction pro. This magazine is a leading voice in the industry
and his mission is to write and edit stories about tools and advanced
building techniques. This position has brought him in contact with
the best craftsmen in the business and generates personal contacts
in other parts of the professional building and Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
press. He also works closely with the major tool manufacturers and
has strong relationships in the industry.
still builds and renovates, too. It's too much fun to stop. Mostly,
he works on his own home; having recently remodeled of an old brick
colonial and a newer stick-framed cape. His latest project is a
100-year-old colonial in Ambler,
Penn. While he's built his career improving houses, Mark really
got his carpentry start after college working in the waters off
Cape Cod building boat docks.
During college he was lucky enough to spend his summers as an ocean
lifeguard. Today he is an avid athlete. He played college and men's
club rugby for a dozen years and has a long list of triathlons,
adventure races, and marathons under his belt.
Mark put pen to paper, handwriting his notes for The Carpenter's Notebook
in a journal while renovating a rowhouse in Boston's Beacon
Hill neighborhood ten years ago, one event has affected and changed
his life more than any other: the birth of his daughter. Like Gideon,
Mark's mission is to be as great a father as he possibly can can be.