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When I was a kid I remember my parents jumping in to help friends and neighbors when a big job came up.

One time the couple next door decided to lay down sod in their front yard. As they started to pick up those heavy rolls and unroll them, you could hear the doors open and shut as one neighbor after another showed up to help. In less than a half hour, some 10 people had completed what would have been a long, hot and backbreaking job for two people.

Scenes like that were common. Nobody expected a direct or immediate payback. We all knew that the day would come when someone needed help and that somebody else would step up.

In my family this attitude was not confined to laying sod, changing tires or nailing up sheetrock. We would volunteer to take tickets at fundraisers at the Center of the West, sell hot dogs at the high school sporting events, wash Dan Miller’s car and help the staff at the hospital. Okay, just kidding about Dan. He can wash his own car.

Combine my parents’ example with our newest attraction in town, and you knew I would be first in line when By Western Hands (BWH) announced it was looking for volunteers.

BWH is a non-profit organization founded by Cody community members to preserve and promote the artistry of our Western furniture designers and builders. We’re not just talking about those fantastic Thomas Molesworth-built and inspired chairs and couches featuring leather and gnarled wood. There are great examples of items made using beaded textiles, bone, antlers, stained glass, silver and iron along with carved wood and tooled leather.

I'm Volunteering at By Western Hands. Care to Join Me?

Beaded skull art like this by Maria D’Souza is a great example at By Western Hands.

Examples are found in galleries, museums and workshops around town. The opening of BWH’s Museum and Design Center in the former Gables Hardware building across the street from the Chamberlin Inn marks a huge and formal commitment to a style we claim as our own.

I'm Volunteering at By Western Hands. Care to Join Me? 1

By Western Hands features examples of some of the best furniture and art found in Cody Yellowstone.

BWH will hold educational events, workshops and artist residencies. The organization is supporting Northwest College’s associate’s degree program with mentoring and training.

You can stop by BWH Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until May 28 when it expands its hour to 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free of charge.

I'm Volunteering at By Western Hands. Care to Join Me? 2

Corrie has had her eye on this table by Lester Santos for a long time.

BWH is located at 1007 12th Street, Cody, WY 82414. For questions or for more information, please contact [email protected] or call 307-586-1755.

The Grand Opening will be held June 8. If you stop by, be nice to the volunteers. It could be a friend, neighbor or certain blogger.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life – and admiring the furniture – in Cody Yellowstone.