Woodworker Dick Reel dies
Visitors to our early Woodworkers with the Blues will remember a smiling woodworker who dressed like a pioneer, whittled bowls and exuded warmth as he shared his craft. That man was Dick Reel, and I'm sorry to say that he passed away on February 13.
Dick was a remarkable man and the driving force behind LaPorte County Fair's Pioneer Land, which features 1800s style buildings including a log cabin, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse and general store. He helped construct the buildings and headed up fundraising drives. His goal was always to keep Pioneer Land free to everyone who wanted to visit.
One year we took our twelve-year old niece, a true city girl, to visit. Dick was showing off a pair of oxen. Massive animals! He greeted my niece, handed her the rope he was using to lead the oxen and said, "Hold that for a minute, will you?" And walked off.
April was both thrilled and terrified. We learned later that Dick didn't really leave. He was just a few yards away, keeping an amused eye on the situation.
That was Dick. Kind, amusing, caring and talented. We'll miss him.
Our showroom is now located at 4102 Hanover Rd., New Troy, MI 49119.
The showroom is now adjacent to our woodworking shop, which has been located on property occupied by Terry’s family for six generations. Overlooking ponds and woods at the end of Hanover Road, it’s an inspiring and tranquil place.
In addition to viewing our exclusive collection of furniture, visitors will have the opportunity to observe work in progress in the shop.
Why the move? Events of 2020 awakened in us a desire to simplify and focus on what’s most important to us. With this simplification, we'll be able to dedicate even more attention to the custom work that makes your bespoke pieces special.
Our new showroom is open by appointment and by chance. To make an appointment, please Contact us. We're also happy to discuss your needs by telephone or email.
In October 2021, Center of the World was once again a Gold-level sponsor of Run to the Center of the World, which raised more than $3,000 for the New Troy Community Center.
Over the past 16 years, owners Terry and Lorraine, together with Center of the World staff have volunteered hundreds of hours of service for the Community Center, which provides an under-privileged community with a multitude of services (lending library with Wifi, story hour, reading programs, pickle ball, yoga, local history collection, playground, demonstration rain garden, winter coat drive, recycling event, visits from Santa, indoor winter flea markets and much more).
Owned, maintained and operated by the non-profit organization, Friends of New Troy, the Center receives no tax dollars, but has been supported since 2007 by fundraisers, donations, membership fees, and more recently, grants.
In 2019, Terry and Lorraine joined forces with Rotarian David Stevenson to write grants to rehab the Center's four restrooms. Built in 1962 as an elementary school, the Center's bathrooms had never been upgraded. Four grants came through, multiple fundraisers were held, and the bathroom rehab was completed in the spring/summer of 2020.