I became aware of Gary Long though a friend in college whose father had worked with him. Gary can be hard to reach, but after two years of calling and writing letters, he finally agreed to let me apprentice with him. Gary is passionate about his craft and wanted to see it taught to someone who appreciated, respected, and loved it as much as he does. After a few trials of determination, he talked with me about how he wished to teach his craft to another generation and see it passed on. He knew that he was a part of a very small revival movement that kept this historical tradition alive through the second half of the twentieth century. He charged me with carrying the torch through the next generation. I am honored and excited to live up to this charge.
Like the other men I learned from, Alan came to this craft and community by taking a class with Peter Gott. There he met Gary Long and Lenny Rizzo and began working with them. After the class, he starting his career building log cabins and timber frames by building his first cabin for his parents.
I met Alan through Gary, and am always excited to hit the road and drive to Arkansas to work with him. Alan is an artist and creative genius with timbers. His projects are always challenging and rewarding to work on.
I have continued to work with and learn from Alan Logan while developing my own business, Dan Aruta Hand Hewn Home. His structures are nothing short of breathtaking. The careful thought and attention to detail that he pours into each project is a standard that I quickly grew to admire and that I strive to bring to my own work.
Tim Gott is the son of Peter Gott, who started all of the men I learned from on their path of building log cabins and timber frames.
At age sixteen, Tim told his parents that he wanted to build a small plywood building for his friends to hang out in. Peter had a different idea about said building. Tim felled poplar logs, hewed them from the round, and built a small log cabin with a loft, wood stove, and hand rived oak shingle roof. Even with this early introduction to the craft and having a natural talent, Tim is the most modest person you can meet. Whistling while he works, he is a pleasure to work with and inspires me to continue to grow and learn.
Lenny Rizzo and Gary had been building cabins and working together since the year that I was born, literally. I worked with him on many jobs. He was a hard teacher, pushing me, not always gently, to be a better worker while also teaching me how to build cabins better. I was glad in the long run for his tutelage, if not always in the short run. He was a fun loving free spirit like the rest of the guys and could make you laugh as he made fun of you to your face. He will be missed.
Peter Gott left Cornel with his wife Polly and moved to the mountains of North Carolina in the 1950s. Before he did he learned how to build log cabins from a man named Daniel O'Heara. Peter and Polly only wanted to go live off of the land and play music. However once Peter built his log house he started being asked to build them for others. Eventually he started teaching classes to interested people. All of the men I learned from found Peter and each other this way. Peter is a charismatic, hard working, fun loving person. I am grateful that he learned this trade and then taught all of the people who would eventually teach me.