Thursday, July 8, 2010

Luddite Heroes - Dennis Shelly

You won’t find his name in Wikipedia or any reference book. I’m not even sure you’ll find his name in the phone book, but if you ever meet him you won’t forget him, and with only a few minutes of conversation, you’ll realize that he is no ordinary man. I had the honor of working with Dennis for four years before my career took me elsewhere and I truly miss his presence.

Dennis is a man of many talents and true principles – a lover of animals and plants, of old machines, open land and simple solutions. He is a mechanic, an electrician, a carpenter, a plumber, a painter, and who knows what else. If it’s broke, Dennis can fix it. If there’s a problem, Dennis can solve it, and if he has his way, he’ll solve it with a minimum of technology and expense.

I learned many things from Dennis in our time as colleagues. Things like ‘If it’s worth making, it’s worth fixing’ and I was always impressed with his solutions. Although I was his supervisor, I frequently had to admit that his solutions were better than anything I would have come up with.

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