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About the Reunion

photo (2)

Excellent Reunion!!!

final email invite page 1

final email invite page2

final email invite3



Leeds Class of 85

Al Miller

New Photos courtesy of Jim Plukas … 3/25/2013


Ok … This is definitely one of my favorite photos taken by Andy Davis. Fortunately, he has shared many more, check them out on Flickr.  3/25/2013


1984 Gazette article courtesy of Silas Kopf

  1. We hope everyone will be able to join us for the reunion. Please help us spread the word!

    • Hi Rex.
      I was in the class of 1979. My Please add my website
      to the student faculty & resident links.
      I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone elses work – wow!

      I thinks its great to put us all back in touch and look forward to meeting at the reunion.

      David D. Doernberg

    • 6.27.2013 Hi All. Check your emails, We sent email update on details.

      • Reunion organizers: can I bring this? I mean, will it be allowed in the tournament?

      • By all means – USGA rules do NOT apply.

      • I would really like to see that Rocket club. Make sure you bring it Jeff!!

      • Jeff,

        I wasn’t planning on attending the golf tournament … However, if you will be playing with the Rocket Club, I would like to volunteer my services as your caddy!


      • Jeff Meyers permalink

        Rex, if you have helmets and a hazmat suit, by all means, you are hired. I am not a golf player myself, but looking on the bright side, I am envisioning the pyrotechnic possibilities…it does not look, from Bill Sayre’s response, that the green fee is raised for those who choose to send their golf balls into escape orbit….so I think we are fine there.


        On Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM, Leeds Design Workshops Reunion wrote:

        > ** > Rex Brodie commented: “Jeff, I wasn’t planning on attending the golf > tournament … However, if you will be playing with the Rocket Club, I > would like to volunteer my services as your caddy! Rex” >

      • jeff meyers permalink

        Also, I hope you and the Bills don’t mind that I have asked some friends of mine to make an appearance at the golf course:


      • Jeff, Exactly what type of friends are we talking about here? Playing? Observing? Cheering?

      • Lisa Bertoldi permalink

        Could be the funniest thing I have ever seen.

      • jeff meyers permalink

        octagenarian golf cart drill parading

    • Hope everyone is ready for a good time! In honor of David and John we need to drink some Ballantine Ale and a couple of Oil Cans (Fosters) if we all throw in a $1 we might each get a half of a beer. Time sure have changed.

  2. wsayre permalink

    We hope to see you all up here or at least hear from you. Send us all of the contacts you might have so we can send out more invitations. Bill Sayre

    • Bill, Roy McAlister here…’86 – ’87 Please add my contact info and student link. I’m likely to attend.

      • wsayre permalink


        Great to hear from you! I’ll forward your info to Rex and Bill Sandrock to add you to the list. Make sure you fill out the RSVP tab on the blog so that we can have an official tabulation. See you in August.


  3. This will be a great opportunity for us all to meet! I will be contacting the Hampton Inn (24 Bay Rd, Hadley, MA 01035) and arrange for a block of rooms for the reunion. We should be able to get favorable pricing. This way everyone from out of town will not have to do the individual search for a place to stay.

  4. This will be great I can’t wait. Leeds was able to make it possible for me to follow my dream.

  5. Im bringing my octagon!!….all 7 of em!….Brett Hesser

    • wsayre permalink

      And those were the ones that actually passed.

  6. Joan Brodie (aka "Plowette," wife of Rex Brodie '83, sister of James "Plow" Plukas '84) permalink

    Came across this fabulous article about Brett Hesser. Brett describes Leeds and his Leeds experience in great detail. It’s bound to take you down memory lane.

  7. Thanks to Jim Plukas, we have our first end of the year show poster. If you have a poster, take a picture and send it to me. Let’s see if we can get every year posted before the reunion.

  8. Hey Rex, I’ll be at the reunion. thanks Bill for getting this together

    • Hi John,

      Glad to hear you will be joining everyone for the reunion! It will be great to catch up. We are trying to generate a list of everyone who will be attending. When you have a chance, will you click on the RSVP FORM link (located on the right side of the Leeds blog) and provided us with some helpful information.

  9. Lisa Bertoldi permalink

    Bill and I are so looking forward to this!

  10. alan lorn permalink

    hi rex i will attend and look forward to seeing everyone regards, alan lorn

  11. If anybody needs a place to crash I have some floor space a couch or two and perhaps a bed (depending on circumstances). Minutes from Beaver Brook.

    • alan lorn permalink

      hi fran great to see that your’e attending. i look forward to catching up with you! can i make a reservation for a couch at your home? let me know. regards alan lorn

  12. There is also a very nice Bed and Breakfast I built in Hadley (nearby) called Ivory Creek ( for those of you who might be bringing along family or just would like a nice place to stay. Very nice. You’ll love the pool.

  13. And while you are in the area you simply must check out the Brewmaster Pub in Williamsburg. Not only do they have the worst food you can imagine, but the beer makes horses a serious option.

  14. However there is an excellent Cajun restaurant in town that’s very reasonable.

  15. Hi Bill, Bill, and Rex,
    thanks for putting this together. I’m looking forward to seeing everybody in August. Great to see so many fantastic accomplishments out there. Really beautiful work. To Brett Hesser – I have to apologize for eating all of Carl’s candy he brought home after a Halloween visit and putting the wrappers on your bench. Although the image of him chasing you through the shop us forever etched in my memory, it has caused me inestimable guilt over the years.

  16. Dear Jeff….the personal shame and humiliation you guys heaped upon me only strengthened me for the real world of design rejection and 3rd place finishes in all of my furniture contests!. I am completely in your debt for the constant torment and torture from you and the 2nd year students and will make up for all of it at the reunion!…PS…it was i that was secretly hollowing out your waterstones with constant late night honing!!!!!

    • I knew it!!!!!!!! I used to re-flatten them by rubbing them on the side of furniture parts you had just recently planed, scraped, and sanded. Did the trick. See you in August.

  17. This will be good times for all!

  18. Here is a link to Fine Woodworking
    Article about Tool Chests and David Powell is mentioned

  19. Here is a link to the famous “Egg Desk”

  20. brett hesser permalink

    Dear Jeff…Thanks for posting your hilarious memories…By the way…I never got to tell you how much of a profound influence you had on my future design style. When you submitted your large carcass piece for student critique at the end of the first year, I was blown away. The cutting board in the shape of a pig was total genius!!!!…I thought the way you made the nostrils with a 1/2″ drill bit showed a complete mastery of your hand tools!…I havent looked at food preparation the same way since…Love ya baby!….

    • Hey Brett, much obliged for the thoughtful kudos. Even way back then I knew you coveted that cutting board (which has been a big seller over the years: Swine and Dine (TM). You’ll also salivate when you see my latest creation, a production item that has really been bringing home the bacon, the “Mr. Whiskers” (TM) Cat Doorstop. It’s been selling like hotcakes for at least three years now. I’ll bring one for you as a present. By the way, detailed construction plans are available for a reasonable fee on my website. Oh, and one last thing – I have been thinking of making something out of wood that would exploit the whole “legalize marijuana” craze, something that we could sell to the West Coast market. Don’t you think that’s a great idea? I mean after all, “Birds eat it, Ants love it, Fowls eat it, Goats love to play with it.”

      I would love to hire you as a consultant. You name the price, the world is your oyster, and together we will conquer the market. Anyway, think it over and I’ll send you a contract over the next few days. The sky’s the limit on this one compadre.

  21. All these old Photos’ are Awesome!!!!!!!

  22. You know whats incredible about those photos, , they’re mainly of the class of 84-85-86…I knew we had the most photogenic group….Its amazing how I can hear John Tierney telling me not to give up and that alot of students had made things 4 or 5 times to get it right!…..

  23. Bill Sandrock permalink

    We were the only ones that had camera’s!!

  24. Has anyone had any luck finding any other former Leeds students?

  25. This is Roy McAlister, I went to Leeds 1986 and i would like to add my email to the list and my website to the student links.

  26. Bill…I found Andy Messenger(’83) out here in Santa Barbara…im pretty sure he will fit in my carry-on luggage!….

  27. our list of attendees is getting larger!!!

  28. Mark Wolff permalink

    Rex and Bill,
    Glad to see that you are trying to get everybody back together! I am looking into arranging my schedule to attend. Hope to see you in August.
    Mark Wolff (class 1983)

    • Mark
      Do you still live in the Pittsburgh Area?

    • Mark, Welcome aboard.

      • I have a few questions about the golfing part of the program:

        1. Has anybody removed all the gophers from the course?
        2. Will there be media coverage?
        3. Can you provide a ballpark figure on the prize money?


      • Interesting that you should ask – we’re working on all three as you speak. Are you willing to MC this event?

      • I’d be glad to do the color commentary for the TV coverage. I will be practicing the whisper.

  29. Hey all is everyone getting excited about the Reunion????

  30. Paul Lenares permalink

    Looking forward to this reunion. I will get a hold of Eric Litke and let him know if he doesn’t already.Eugene Ney was the camera guy from my years he always had a camera with him, if anyone has contact info for him and can pass it along to me that would be great

  31. Ahhhh….Eugene Ney…Now thats one of the truly unique characters to roll through the hallowed walls of the old mill. Ill never forget seeing him sauntering down the hall, coffee in hand, with that big smile on his face, at the crack of first light over the mountain. We would endlessly discuss the beauty of our native Virginia. He once divulged to me the real reason that homicides were so difficult to solve down there…All of the DNA is the same and no dental records!!!…..That was the essence of Eugene…

  32. Rex,
    That for adding Hessers Photo’s!!!!!

  33. That picture of the entire Leeds class of 1985 is awesome.
    In the 2 years I was there, I don’t remember being in a picture or anyone even taking one. That would be great to have one from every class.

  34. Bill…Ive had that picture in my office for the last twenty years..Every time Ive been a little down or under pressure at work i look at it and recall the days when life was so easy and carefree. No payroll to meet, no mortgage to pay, no workers compensation bills…its seems like just a dream that times were that good. Thats what Leeds was..just good times…Then reality sets in and I remember nearly burning One cottage st down with a plile of oily rags that were left under my bench!…Oh its all comin” out in August baby so get ready!!!!

  35. Francis Gallo suggests that another place you could stay overnight is “Ivory Creek Bed and Breakfast”
    Contact Info:
    Ivory Creek Bed & Breakfast Inn • 31 Chmura Road • Hadley, Massachusetts 01035
    Reservations: 866-331-3115 • Telephone: 413-587-3115 • Email:

  36. jeff meyers permalink

  37. To everyone who put in the effort to attend the reunion I want to personally thank you for making it one of the most memorable weekends of my life. It was without question the best group of people ive ever been around. The food, the drinks, the laughs, the beer, the golf, the stories, the slides, the shop tours, the weather,….all of it was magical. I made new friends and re-ignited friendships from 29 years ago. A special thanks to Bill Sayre and Bill Sandrock for their efforts. To Tony and Bruce and Silas for opening their shops to us. Most importantly to John Tierney and David Powell for endeavoring to open a school in an old abandoned mill that produced so many wonderful craftsmen and women. I’m so fortunate and proud to have been a part of the lasting legacy of the Leeds Design Workshops. To be part of such a small group of artists empowered and influenced by the talents of others inside the brick walls of 1 Cottage St. is a thrill beyond all others for me. I’ll never forget my experience there and this weekend only helped to reaffirm that indeed it was the best two years of my life. I can only hope that this won’t be the last time we can do this. If somehow we can bring us all together one last time before the generations change hands it will surely be another howling good time as only the best of people can have. Thank you once again for helping me keep the memories of those two years alive and well……Brett Hesser

  38. To all of the Leeds People

    I want to start by thanking Bill Sayre, Rex Brodie, and Kathy Marie (in my office) for helping organize the 2013 Leeds Design Workshop Reunion. It was a great success and will go down in my history book as one of the best weekends I ever had.

    The connections so many years ago are still alive and well. I think we might have told some of the same stories and jokes we told then. When you experience a place like Leeds, everyone is thrown in to the mix, whether you were in the same class or not. The experience was the same for all of us. I cherish the memories from that time and use the skills that I was taught by John and David everyday.

    I want to send a special thanks to Lisa for organizing the Friday evening at Fitzwillys. And to Bill Sayre for setting up the golf, reserving the pavilion at Look Park, making arrangements for the barbeque, and getting brunch and slides setup for Sunday.

    I also want to thank Tony Clark, Bruce Volz, Silas Koft, and Bill Hewitt for opening up their shops to all of us.

    By having, a weekend of things planned it made everything special. Had we just had the picnic at Look Park and it was just over, we would not have had the great weekend that we did.

    I need to send special thanks to my friend Gregg Seiler for tuning Leeds on to me in the summer of 82. That changed my entire life.
    Also I want to thank him for driving us around in that awesome Red Ford Mustang convertible.

    We need to do something again, and lets us not wait 25 years to do it.

    I love you all and you have a special place in my heart.

    Your friend

    Bill Sandrock

  39. Now that some time has gone by and we are back into our regular routine I would like to thank everyone that attended our reunion in August. I had an excellent time.

  40. Does anyone one have some of the group Pictures we took at the Reunion picnic??

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