OUR BEGINNINGS

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS


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I chose to name my business in honor of my great grandfather and his wife, my great grandmother LeGallee.  They lived in Panama City, Florida.  He was a hard working banker known for his integrity and trustworthiness.  But it was she, my great grandmother LeGallee, who made such an impression and was as they say, the power behind the throne.  Even today I have family members who still refer to her as having been a "tough old bird".  She was the family "boss" and the source of some of my fondest memories.  When I was a small child while spending the best of summers at our family beach cottage in Indian Pass, Florida, she would wake me at first daylight to go crabbing.  The two of us would drag an old metal bucket and a rusty pole net that was twice my height in length from the back porch to scoop up lunch for the day. She and the other women in the family would somehow whip up a huge bowl of crab salad from a modest catch of stubborn blue crab.  The biggest impact she had upon me was during my twelfth or thirteenth year when she took my hands and pulled them close as she leaned over and stared at me with her steel blue/gray eyes underneath cat-eye'd glasses.  I'll never forget her words.  She said, "what ever you do with your life, use these hands God gave you".  This has never escaped me though I didn't listen to her wisdom for most of my life.  She knew then what I did not at the time which was I had inherited a great deal of natural artistic ability and dexterity from both sides of my family.  Because of these things, my brother and I can build, construct, repair, and learn to do most anything with our hands.  My father recently said to me that building furniture came natural and just seemed to be a second nature.  He himself is a terrific illustrator/artist with a great engineers mind.  To fast forward just shy of forty years since my great grandmother told me to use my hands... we'll, I'm using my hands.  For the first six years I designed and constructed furniture from my barn, on my porch, and underneath my car port while battling the heat and humidity of summer and wet cold of winter.  There where plenty days when I questioned my motivation and sanity but somehow stuck it out.  I am very thankful for knowing just enough to keep leaning forward when I didn't know what else to do, for the life long friends I have in my brother Andy and Keith who both have played an enormous role in my growth and success, and for my wife Donna who supported and tolerated me when she shouldn't have.  Today I have a huge shop that keeps the rain off of our heads and all of the neccessary tools and machinery to produce furniture.  I also have very talented help who enthusiastically believes in LeGallee.  We are having having fun building furniture.  I've learned quite a bit learning to become a craftsman and my business is growing into what I had originally envisioned and hoped for when I began.  While there is still plenty for me to learn and growth to experience as LeGallee Furniture progresses, I am very thankful for and blessed with a supportive family, and the fantastic memory of a great grandmother who once said simple but powerful words to me.