Larry Vellensky (2nd Quarter, 2005)

by Josh Barsch on August 20, 2010

2nd Quarter, 2005
Vo-tech Scholarship Winner
Larry Vellensky

Larry was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised both in New York City and in New Jersey. Growing up, his parents stressed the importance of education, and so he was a very focused student. In addition to focusing on his education, he was a passionate athlete, playing both football and baseball. Larry attended Rutgers University and graduated with a BA in History in 1999. During college, he started a landscaping business in order to help pay for school and living expenses. Upon college graduation, he worked as a carpenter, tried his hand as a business analyst, and then, inevitably, returned to carpentry.

A Portion of Larry’s Winning Essay:

Larry Vallensky

Larry Vallensky

For me, carpentry is a mentally, physically and spiritually rewarding labor of love. I love the feel of my hammer dropping cleanly into my hammer loop, the smell of a power saw ripping through a piece of cedar, and I can not help but smile when I cut a piece of wood to a perfect fit and hammer it home without the hint of a hammer track. I love when there is no better tool to use then my grandpa’s old plane, and I pluck it out of my toolbox, which I replicated after his own.

I am filled with a sense of pride in the tradition I am carrying on. There are tough days when the lumber pile I am carrying to the third floor never seems to get smaller, but by the end of the day my body and mind are content to rest with muscles made healthy with the burn of labor and stiff, calloused hands slowly becoming the hands of a craftsman that has paid his dues.

Preservation carpentry is a marriage of my interests in carpentry, history and architecture. Every old building contains a history that led to its construction and to me this history is an integral part of the building. For example, understanding why there was a Greek revival in American architecture allows for an insight into the ideology of the time period. The historic homes, barns and mills of America are amongst the most beautiful creations I have seen, and harken back to a time I have a great appreciation for. These buildings are a vital part of our nation’s history.

Throughout my career I will work to increase public awareness in regards to the importance of historic preservation. Furthermore, I will work to the best of my ability to preserve, uphold and pass on the tradition of craftsmanship which has shaped the remarkably built landscape of our nation.


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