Running With Blinders On

Four Decades of Board Building with Ernie DeLost

It’s a bleak, chilly day in the spring of ’83. Sleet is falling from the sky, and Ernie DeLost is standing in his underwear next to a burning dumpster as a cloud of toxic waste billows up from its metal walls. Ernie had accidentally let two metal drums, one containing a wood-laminating resin and the other a hardening compound, overflow within the confines of his rented workspace at the Fedder Industrial Park in downtown Rochester, NY. In a frantic attempt to prevent the compounds from mixing and save the entire building from burning to the ground, Ernie covered the chemicals with heaps of cat litter before shoveling it through a small window onto a sleet-slickened metal ledge, then into the now-smoking dumpster just outside the factory. He’d also managed to cover himself in the mess, searing his skin when he slipped and plunged into the dumpster…

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