Bruce Northridge, 1947-2000
- In Memory -
by Lowell and Linda Chaput
Our good friend and fellow blacksmith Bruce Northridge died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Smartsville, California, after a long illness. Most of the things we know about Bruce can't be printed (those of you who knew him well, know what we're talking about!) But a few important things, we can:
Bruce was born in 1947 in Los Angeles, but spent many years abroad with his family. It was later in Porterville, California, that he learned the trade of horseshoeing. One of his specialties was corrective shoeing. He also taught horseshoeing classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Bruce later became a blacksmith and settled in Petaluma, where he had a small shop. He not only became an extremely talented blacksmith, but also an excellent toolmaker. He enjoyed the challenge and exercise of solving problems. It was during his blacksmithing career, however, that his talents were boosted as a charismatic and witty star at various craft fairs, especially the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Novato, CA. For many years, he taunted people with his jokes and stories, usually creating a crowd around him demanding even more! Quite often Bruce was a demonstrator at blacksmith conferences throughout the state. He was known for getting the audience involved in his demonstrations, much to the enjoyment of all.
Bruce later began to write stories of his own adventures. He had a dream of one day becoming a published writer or, should we say, storyteller. He was always one for gathering a group together on any given day to listen to one of his famous tales. Humor was his specialty, and he was famous for it.
He was known for making his own rules and being his own person. Many of us will remember him as an intelligent, independent thinker. He liked to do things his own way and usually had his own agenda. He's probably telling St. Peter right now how to build those Pearly Gates!
Above all, Bruce was a very special and unique person. He had a genuine passion for living and celebrating life. We will always remember his warm smile and gentle heart. We love you, Bruce, and will miss you even more.