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More to the Story: They Still Do That

WPBS and the Watertown Daily Times present More to the Story: They Still Do That, airing on WPBS on Sunday, December 29th at 6:30pm and rebroadcasting on Friday, January 3rd at 7:30pm, and streaming online at The accompanying written story will appear in the Watertown Daily Times on Sunday, December 29th.

Hand-making goods is a skill that is slowly becoming obsolete, with the growth of machine and mass production. More to the Story: They Still Do That interviews four separate individuals in the North Country who share their love of old-fashioned craftsmanship.

Jack Johnson makes lacrosse sticks from local hickory trees that he cuts down and carves himself in his workshop. Staying true to his Akwesasne teachings, Johnson talks about his teacher Alf Jacques’ advice: “You put the love in it and the medicine in it by struggling to make that stick.”

Julie Pratt hand-makes soap from scratch in her workshop in Lisbon. She began making soap as a hobby while in school in Syracuse, until she moved to Lisbon and began her full-time business, Attagirl Soaps. “I got interested in making soap more because I love history and I love learning things. I’m the kind of person where I just want to constantly be learning something,” says Julie.

Gary Scholes has his own shop in Alexandria Bay, Thousand Island Clock Works, where he repairs old clocks and makes them work as if they were new again. Scholes began making clocks after attempting to fix an old clock while working construction. It began as a hobby and now he has opened his door to local customers looking to repair old treasures they found in their home.  His advice to customers? “Bring them here.”

Frank Shattuck is a tailor in Sackets Harbor who has been perfecting his craft for 35 years. “If you went to an old tailor shop in the year 1900, everything I do, they do,” said Shattuck on how he hand-stitches his suits.  Through Skype technology, he oversees measurements and fittings with customers as far away as London, without ever leaving his home.

About More to the Story

More to the Story is a public affairs program produced by WPBS in collaboration with the Watertown Daily Times. WPBS producers team up with Watertown Daily Times reporters to bring unprecedented value and depth to topics affecting the region. More to the Story is made up of two components, a print in the Sunday edition of the Watertown Daily times and the video airing on WPBS on Sunday’s at 6:30pm.