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On a rainy spring morning when Fletcher Gober was two and a half years old, his mother accidentally left the back door to the house slightly ajar. Fletcher, being a curious and somewhat incorrigible child, seized the opportunity to slip outside to learn about the world beyond. As he wandered barefoot into the yard he came across the muddiest, murkiest, and most massive mud puddle he had ever seen. One splash was all it took. He was hooked. Even as a teenager his mother would call him into the house, "Fletcher, get in here and wash yourself up. You're a filthy mess."

Fletcher at the wheel.

"But Mom," he would reply, "there's money to be made from that there mud."

"Fletcher," his mother would say with a discouraged sigh, "nobody has ever made any money shoveling mud."

But Fletcher wouldn't listen. Mud was in his blood. It was in his bones. It was certainly in his pants pockets. He pursued his dream from mud puddle to clay pit, from clay pit to pottery wheel, from pottery wheel to firing kiln. He followed his dream until one day Fletcher finally had to admit that his mother was right. You can't make any money playing in mud. But you can at least make a lot of really neat- looking bowls, plates, cups, mugs, and all sorts of other useful stuff.

And so it was that a potter was born.

Now Fletcher lives in Chehalis, Washington and spends his days teaching classes and making pottery. Occasionally he even does a load of laundry.

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