"I want the kids to have something they can give to their mom or dad." Ralph Hyson, local artisan.
When we share a story about a local artist, author, or artisan more times than not we focus on what they create. We place a bright spotlight on their art, their writing, or pieces they have crafted in towns nearby. The seacoast seems to be a treasure trove of multi talented individuals and we are fortunate to have an up close view of a lot of amazing work done in this part of the world. I was trying to pick a topic for this month's feature, flipping through photos, walking through the store nothing seemed to jump out at me, and then Ralph Hyson walked through the door and I smiled. The Universe never seems to miss a cue and in an instant "aha moment" I knew that it was Ralph's story that we needed to share.
Ralph is a man of many talents. He spends a lot of his time on the golf course and that has influenced many of his pieces in the store: bird houses, windchimes, ornaments, bottle openers, and miniature signs. He is also an artist and finds beauty in the everyday items begging to be rediscovered and repurposed. Since being retired he went back to work filling his time with customer service and staying active. When he's not working, teaching, or crafting, Ralph is whole heartedly building a non profit foundation to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson's Disease. All of which is truly amazing but not what we want to focus this story on. When Ralph comes into the store the whole energy lifts up a notch or two.
Ralph has a perpetual smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye, and positive words to share about his family, friends, jobs, foundation, and our community. I've yet to hear Ralph even hint about something that isn't quite right with the world or himself, he not only looks on the brightside, he is the bright side. This morning Ralph stopped by the store to drop off one of his latest creations. His mother had saved a collection of small luggage keys, and he remembered my saying that mother's day in the store was a busy time of the year. When we went to price the earrings he had created from his mother's collection, he suggested selling them for $5 a pair. I looked up and asked if he was sure. "I want the kids to be able to buy something for their mom, something they can afford."
This is Ralph in a nutshell. He is always putting others before himself while finding joy in creating new items to put in A Little Something. Ralph is a bright light in our community. Whether connecting with people through positive conversation, helping them out at the sporting goods store and golf course he works at, or through his efforts in building awareness and raising funds for individuals with Parkinson's Disease, he is always smiling.
We love Ralph, and love each and everyone of his creations and we have a feeling you will too!