You are a winner just for showing up to compete.
I suppose that’s true, on both literal and metaphorical levels, since contestants did have to win their state competitions to get to Nationals in the first place. But it doesn’t make any less bitter the pill that my talented construction school classmate Maher Farag didn’t medal in the cabinetmaking contest.
In a competition that is measured by thirty-seconds of an inch and tenths of a degree, I guess I’ll never know what separated the medalists from the rest of the field as they crafted complex cabinets with multiple angles among drawers and doors. I just wish Maher had won. I know it would have meant a lot to him and his family.
But in the long run, there’s something that might mean even more to the veteran carpenter, who immigrated from Egypt three years ago: the outpouring of encouragement from his Nashville community.
Thank you to all the BuildMeUpButtercup readers who have reached out to Maher through the blog to send your best wishes for his competition or to commission furniture and other carpentry projects. Maher appreciates the opportunities. Meanwhile, Buttercup looks forward to connecting him to more people looking for excellent craftsmanship in the Nashville area.