There are many people who give to other's and never ask for anything back. They work quietly enjoying the satisfaction that comes only helping another person in need. Here's a little story about one person's good and selfless work. 

 

I network a lot. While networking I met Paul Knutsen at an event and found him to be a guy with a heart and wonderful sensibilities towards life and helping others. So, It was not a surprise to find that he runs Gladeview Health Care Center from a completely different place than most. While having breakfast in Deep River at Kristen's with Paul, he pointed to a cross that was hanging in the restaurant across the room that was made from rope in a particular fashion. He told me his father, John Knutsen, now retired for many years, was making them by the bag and giving them to pastors of churches, to homes like Gladeview, and to those he meets on his travels.

 

 

John Knutsen at his home workshop...

 

John worked for 30 years at Pratt and Whitney and took an early retirement that has kept a grin on his face ever since. "It takes a lot of time to do nothing and I work hard at it," John told me. He was a customer relations contact with airlines for last 15 years of his career. When he first retired and became his own boss he spent a lot of time fly fishing. Health reasons kept that from being as frequent an activity as he would have liked. John decided to focus on another activity so he started making things from rope. He learned Chinese knotting and is really good at it. He delved into knot tying in a big way and came across sailor's cross. The legend is that Portuguese seaman make these from scrap pieces of rope for the bow of their long boat for divine protection. His Navy background and strong faith drew him to make these "sailor crosses" and offer them to those in need.  

 

The Sailor's Cross is one of many types John ties...

 

John was married to his bride Marie in E. Greenwich, RI. The church they got married 52 years ago was where Marie grew up. John's Navy shore patrol brought him to the area and they met at one of the local community dances. The Pastor of this church told John how good people felt having received the crosses that he placed in a basket, free for the taking, by all who came through their doors. 

 

John uses a variety of line, rope, and leather to make his crosses.

 

John became addicted to making them and started making them by the hundreds. I also learned during my short visit with him that Scouting was in his past…no surprise. Being an Eagle scout myself…knot tying was a certainly one of scouting's mainstays. 

 

 

John gets a lot of satisfaction out of making someone happy and introducing a different energy into their lives. I'm honored to have met and talked to John and thought I'd write a small tribute to his good work. 

 

If you're interested in getting some of his crosses for your good work, write me an email and I'll connect you.