View Full Version : Turner Interview - Ken Fitzgerald

Mark Cothren
06-05-2006, 4:05 PM
Name: Ken Fitzgerald

DOB: 1949

Physical description (G-rated, please)
6'1" 245lbs....gray hair receding fast

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
I was raised oil field trash and served 8 years in the Navy so I'll just say Lewiston Idaho for 24 years and Illinois, Georgia, Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Texas and Mississippi.

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
Been married to the LOML, Sharon for 37 years. 3 adult children, 5 grandchildren, soon to be great grandparents. Oldest son is a local deputy sheriff, daughter works for an airline in Phoenix, AZ and youngest son is a dental school student at the University of Texas Houston. Oldest son served 9 years in the Army; youngest son served 5 years in the Navy and is in the inactive reserves. LOML is a CNA and works as a special ed. teaching assistant.

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously)
I am a service engineer for a large corporation where I install and maintain CT & MR scanners and x-ray equipment. In the Navy I worked as an electronics technician maintiaining equipments in air traffic control centers and aboard a subtender repairing equipments aboard fast attack subs. I have worked as a carpenter, numerous factory jobs, oil field roughneck, a draftsman and as a farm laborer. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up!


Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
lathe, a/c, SCMS, lunchbox thickness planer, benchtop 6" jointer, t/s, drillpress, numerous handtools

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
1. the "Bomb"...Jet VS Mini

How many turning tools do you have?
12 or so....too many....not enough

Tell us about your shop
The LOML had a empty shell 24'x30' with 10' ceilings built. 2x6 construction, poured footing, wall, floor. I've painted it, insulated the walls to R19; the ceiling insulated to R-38. I installed a separate meter box and 200 amp electrical service. Walls finished with 1/2" ply and ceiling with 5/8" sheetrock. I WAS mudding the ceiling until the BOMB showed up.

How long turning?
since mid-February 2006

What got you into turning?
I was shoved into the vortex by the inmates here.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
The surpirses you find while you're turning and the continuing education process.

What was your first completed turned project?
Andy's s/n 1 Official Idaho Salmon Bonker

What is your favorite form that you turn?
Tough one due to my inexperience....the latest mahogany bowl I turned and the few boxes I've turned

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
NEs and HFs

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
so far...Honduran Mahogany....turns and finishes well

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
Robert Ducharme....he came all the way from Colorado to get the wood from my english walnut tree that was removed to build my shop. Nice guy! Had a great time visiting with him. But there's a lot more I'd like to spend time with!

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
My latest mahogany bowl....it turned out like I imagined it.

What is your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
Tough.....anybodys HF or NE...

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
NE's and HFs

What brought you to SMC?
I was at a manufacturer's unmoderated site where a lot of flaming was going on. Someone there mentioned this site.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?
2.....Fitz...of course.....and my hillbilly relatives call me "Kenny Paul" ....please don't!

(Editor's note: Uh oh, KEN... now you've gone a done it...:D)

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Oak..........It doesn't take details well, it's not the smoothest thing even when finished....but it's big, strong and will be there when you need something tough and lasting!

Ken Fitzgerald
06-05-2006, 4:12 PM
Mark.................I said "Please".............:(;) :D

Michael Stafford
06-05-2006, 4:42 PM
Welll Kenny Paul, that was a real nice interview with a real nice guy. No doubt in my mind that you are that- a nice guy. Lovely family and let me say if the worse thing that this bunch on the Creek ever does to you is throw you kicking and screaming into the vortex you are getting off easy. You are one of the good guys!:D

Ken Fitzgerald
06-05-2006, 4:49 PM
Damn! I knew if I was 100% honest with that nickname....I'd hear about it! :rolleyes: I don't suppose it's going to end soon either!

Keith Burns
06-05-2006, 5:09 PM
Well, Mr. Kenny Paul, oops sorry Mr. Fitz, I enjoyed your interview and like Mr. Big Mike said, you are one of the nice guys. I've enjoyed watching your journey into spindom, or spendom as some call it. You have a great looking family as well !!

Barry Stratton
06-05-2006, 5:21 PM
Great interview "FITZ"! It is good to get to know the man standing under the BOMB. You have a fine looking family that is probably as proud of you as you obviously are of them. thanks for sharing.

SEE, I didn't even call you Kenny Paul....That should earn me some suck up points!

Frank Chaffee
06-05-2006, 5:38 PM
Well Kenny Paul,
Let me first say that you are one of my favorite personalities here on the Creek, and the Bomb could not have fallen on a more deserving guy.

Thanks for including the photo of your beautiful family. What with Sharon’s good looks and your…well, err, ahhh…personality, yes that’s it, personality, it is no wonder that each and every one of your progeny and their loved ones appears to me as a person I would be delighted to meet. I can tell from here that being around Ken is a very good thing indeed!

Oh, Ken, re: that Kenny Paul thing, please remember that I owed you one for that remark you made suggesting that I may need a colonic. I may or may not use it again, but as Lee suggests, one cannot have too much ammo.

Always good to know more of you my friend,

John Hart
06-05-2006, 5:55 PM
I basically stumbled upon SMC. Fitz compelled me to stay in one conversation. Definitely one of the stars of this show. Nice interview. :)

Glenn Hodges
06-05-2006, 6:01 PM
Nice to know you better.

Steve Clardy
06-05-2006, 7:13 PM
Great interview [yep. here it comes again] Kenny Paul:D

Travis Stinson
06-05-2006, 7:19 PM
Great interview Ken.........ny Paul! I'm thrilled to see the fruits of the "bombing" come to bear.:D
Beautiful family Ken, great job.:cool:

Bernie Weishapl
06-05-2006, 7:27 PM
Great interview Ken. Glad to get to know you better. I have enjoyed watching you blossom since the bomb dropped. You are definately one of the nice guys. Nice looking family. Naw I ain't goin to do it. Thanks Ken.

Vaughn McMillan
06-05-2006, 7:42 PM
KP, if the nickname Fitz, wear it. ;)

Glad to know a bit more about you, Ken.

- Vaughn

Henry C. Gernhardt, III
06-05-2006, 8:51 PM
Great to know more about you, Ken!

Corey Hallagan
06-05-2006, 9:07 PM
Ken, it has been fun watching you grow with your new lathe. Your doing well buddy. Looking forward to seeing you finish your shop. Nice looking family Ken.


Joe Mioux
06-05-2006, 9:35 PM
Nice interview. thanks Ken

Jim Becker
06-05-2006, 9:49 PM
Heck, that nickname sounds like it has potential for when the subject cuts his first platinum record!! :D

Great interview!

Mark Cothren
06-05-2006, 9:59 PM
KP, if the nickname Fitz, wear it. ;)

LOL!!! Rim shot, please!

Ernie Nyvall
06-05-2006, 10:51 PM
Kenny Paul, Kenny Paul, Kenny Paul... well you can bet I wont mention it. Nice to know you a little better KP. Nice looking family you got there.


Steve Ash
06-05-2006, 10:59 PM
Well I am not going to call you Kenny Paul...no way, if you don't like it then I'll not humiliate you with it...

Ken, you were one of the first to be friendly with me when I first became a member here at SMC, you helped me feel at ease here and I thank you for it. A very nice interview and it is nice to know a little bit more about you and you have a beautiful family as well. I've enjoyed watching you and the "bomb" evolve into a very good turner, something for you to be proud of.

I'll always be glad to count you as one of my friends Kenny Paul!

Curt Fuller
06-05-2006, 11:01 PM
What a guy, that Kenny Paul. Nice to know a little more about you.

John Miliunas
06-05-2006, 11:16 PM
Well then, Mr. Fitzerald. Seems to me that, with that brood, you certainly deserve the "Bomb" and time to spend on it!!! Well done with the interview and it's truly great to know a bit more about you! :) So, any ideas on what you want to be when you grow up? Yeah, I know...You wouldn't want to rush into anything when making such a decision, right? :D You've done well for yourself, my friend. And, you will note that I refrained from any of the Kenny Paul remarks! :D :cool:

Andy Hoyt
06-05-2006, 11:18 PM
Geez! With all these wonderful things being said about you I'm beginning to wonder if you're the same guy who ragged on me all last fall about spinning this, turning that, and such. Guess it must have been that Kenny Oil-Field-Trash Paul dude.

No matter. Happy to be your friend.

Frank Chaffee
06-05-2006, 11:19 PM
Heck, that nickname sounds like it has potential for when the subject cuts his first platinum record!! :D
‘Case you’ve not noticed, ole Kenny Paul is not a subject in these parts, but rather an “object” or “target”.

As to the platinum thing, looks like he has a fine start on that and he’d best not be cutting any.


Paul Douglass
06-05-2006, 11:33 PM
Nice interview Ken and nice looking family. I always enjoy your input on this forum. I don't live that far from you, I live just outside of the Tri-Cities, WA. I've been to Lewiston, ID. and Clarkson, WA many times. I love that area. If I ever get back there be warned, I am going to look you up. Promise I won't stay long.

Ken Fitzgerald
06-05-2006, 11:33 PM
This is Kenny Paul...."Just call me Bulls-eye" in Idaho......looking down.....shaking his head.......thinking..."what did I do?"

Ken Fitzgerald
06-05-2006, 11:36 PM
Paul.........drop by anytime.....I'm in the phone book. Give me a call...if I'm at home you're welcome to drop by! I live about 5 blocks from the airport here in Lewiston.

BTW.....been to Tri-Cities many times. Daughter and family lived in Pasco and Richland when she and her husband were going to college. Skiied many a mile at Bluewood, near Dayton. Youngest son was a ski instructor there while in HS and college.

Dennis Peacock
06-06-2006, 12:49 AM
Howdy there Kenny Paul...!!!! Nice to meet you. ;)

Very good interview Ken and it's always a pleasure to learn and know you just a little bit more than before.

Karl Laustrup
06-06-2006, 8:03 AM
Ken, great interview. Glad to get to know you better.

Next time you're back in this area you should let us know ahead of time. We'd like a chance to alert the local media as well as the authorities. :D

I seem to remember a photo at the post office..........Kenneth Fitzgerald.......AKA Fitz.........AKA Kenny Paul..........AKA spin head. Of course in the picture I saw, the suspect had quite a bit of hair. Moving a lot in the early years. One step ahead of the constable. Was/is that you? ;) :D If so I'd like to claim the reward, even though it was only $1.398.


Ed Scolforo
06-06-2006, 6:30 PM
Hey, Fitzey, I'm not gonna call you Kenny Paul. You have a great family, and it's been fun watching you come along as a turner. Doesn't hurt that you're a former fellow sailor either!

Don Orr
06-08-2006, 9:15 AM
Hey, really nice to get to know you better. I sure do enjoy all your posts and humor. Hard to believe you only got "bombed" such a short time ago.
Keep up the good work.
Nice looking family too.

Mike Ramsey
06-15-2006, 8:53 AM
I enjoyed reading your interview Ken. You have a beautiful family.

Bruce Shiverdecker
06-15-2006, 9:26 PM
Ken....................You should know by now that there ARE some things you don't mention here! Other than that, an interesting interview. Thanks for sharin' KP!


Ken Fitzgerald
06-15-2006, 11:22 PM
Thanks guys for the nice comments.

Bruce.......I figured I'd get that type of reception with the KP but hey......it's the truth.

Tom Sherman
06-16-2006, 1:16 PM
Great interview Ken, I won't go there about the nick's, trying to behave have too many gliches in my get along not to. Enjoyed the read and look forward to many posts in the future.

Frank Chaffee
06-16-2006, 11:18 PM
I figured I'd get that type of reception with the KP but hey......it's the truth.
Well Fitz,
Truth seems to speak most loudly when both sides of it are heard.
Take care, KP.;)