The invitation: To participate in a trial run of a Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail “Experience.” Over the course of a weekend participants are to be introduced to the art of dry stone walling. They will restore a section of the roughly 150-year-old Laidlaw wall that lines a stretch of Balsam Lake Drive.
The invitee: An Advocate columnist with minimal manual dexterity, little aptitude, and the soft hands of a scribe.
The Experience: Orientation
It’s a chilly Saturday morning in late October when we meet in the warmth of the Days Inn lobby: a writer, a museum volunteer, an economic development officer, a travel agent, and a dry stone mason.
Not hard to identify the mason, our instructor. John Shaw-Rimmington is lanky and weathered looking, with a white beard and untrimmed hair. His handshake is strong, and the hand that wraps around mine is roughened, reddened, one fingernail black.