Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Jan. 17, 2018

A catchy old line from a '70s song uses 'flowers' as a metaphor for asking about the disappearance of young people during the Vietnam war. Many soldiers were never seen again due to the high casualty rate.

This industry is having a high casualty rate for a different reason. I blame it on the graying of our craft. People like A.J. Hoffman and John Schum cannot easily be replaced. During their lifetimes they were an inspiration to every locksmith through their training and writings.

An E-mail crossed my desk last week from John Hubel, a locksmith in Michigan. John is more than just a locksmith. He is an educator and works tirelessly to keep the LSA locksmith association working smoothly. John Hubel lamented in his E-mail that he does not see a new group of people emerging who can take the place of former leaders.

What seems to be happening today is that factories and distributors have become the new source for information. This is not completely a negative event but the result is that most information is the same stuff you can read about in instruction manuals. Nothing beats in-the-field experience.  Large conventions where good information is available are OK for attendees but many rank and file locksmiths who cannot attend are left out in the cold.

Where are those type of people who have both experience plus a knack for passing that information to crowds of locksmiths? Security procedures today tend towards access control and electronic automotive security. That eliminates many gray beards in the audience. This is a call for younger people to step up and teach the rest of us to understand what is going on.