Bleckley Man Finds Happiness in Hobbies | Arts & Culture
John Crowe, 42, stands in his workshop area in his family home in Cochran, and points out different pieces of equipment. “I use that for my wood working.” “That is for the cars.” “That is for the metalwork.” “That is for the photography.”
Crowe, who is the operations manager at Dublin GM/Nissan in Dublin, Georgia, said, “I am one of those types of people who just likes to learn.”
His bookshelves are full of 'how-to' books. “I don't read any book that is not going to teach me something, except the Bible, and well, that teaches us things too.”
Crowe is very easy-going, flexible and relaxed.
It could be that the husband of Becky and father of Cade,11 and Weston, 20 months, has found peace at last through his family, his work, and of course, through God, who Crowe said, “has made all this possible.”
Or maybe it is through his vast of array of hobbies that he dabbles in?
Since he was “18 or 19, I have been working on restoring Corvettes. I have about six or seven now.” He keeps them stored in secure areas. “I had a teacher in high school who taught autoshop and he really took me under his wing and showed me about restoring cars.”
And then, he followed in his grandfather, George Smith's footsteps when he bought a house in Cochran and started “doing all the wood work. I started building cabinets, did my own work and whatever else I needed.”
Crowe said that “I am the one who gets the books, and goes and finds my answers when I need to know something or want to know something.”
When he lived in Atlanta, Crowe dabbled in photography, and had a photography studio. “I did wedding pictures and got real interested in that.”
Until the photography started taking over his daily life - “When there are 52 weeks in a year, and you realize you just did 56 weddings, well, it wasn't a hobby anymore – it became a job.”
He also did video editing and became quite good at it. “I edited television commercials for businesses, and started selling equipment.” He got out of that.
Last October, he started doing metalwork. He uses a plasma welder and does different types of designs with his metal work. “I can do most anything.”
To do a metalwork piece of art, Crowe begins with a design – either one he draws or a template he finds – on a computer in his home. This process could take anywhere from five to thirty minutes, even an hour. He uses about “six different software programs” before he takes the design to the computer out in his shop, which then transfers the drawing to the plasma welder. The plasma welder then cuts the design out of the piece of metal. Crowe goes through a sanding and painting process with the design before it is finished.
He made signs at Christmas, and he said, “the day after, weeks after, I was getting notes from people telling me that the sign we made just was the hit, or that the gift we made was the most special.”
And that is why Crowe likes to keep his hands busy in his hobbies. “I like the praise … I like making people happy.”
When a “hobby becomes what you depend on to make money, well, then it is not a hobby anymore. I read or heard somewhere, that you need to pay yourself first, and for me, when I am working out here, I am investing in me.”
His wife, Becky, laughs, “At least I know where he is.”
“God has been here for me through the beginning, everyday. He has given me the knowledge, the ability and provided the resources for me to do the things that I do do,” Crowe said.
“I think when you are 18 or 19, you are all set to go out in the world and make millions. When I hit 40, and I didn't see that happening, it didn't bother me.”
Crowe said, “I am happy. I have no where not to be happy. I have a wife who loves me dearly. I have a son who is doing well in school, and another son, who is just well, my buddy. It may not be the life I initially wanted, but, you know, I don't know if I would want it any other way.”
To see more of John's metal work, go to https://www.facebook.com/johnfcrowejr.