Lived here for: 17 years
Originally from: Los Angeles
Notable: Band instrument repairs and silversmith for more than 40 years, crime buff, news hound, tool maker and classic car enthusiast
How did you end up in Bellingham?
I wanted to leave L.A., and I had a client — for many, many years — who came into my store and announced to me that she was moving to this town I probably never heard of called Blaine, Washington. She was right, I had never heard of it.
Months later, she invited my wife and I to come up for a visit and to see her new house. That was in 2004 that we came up for a nice, long weekend. We started looking around this area and that is how we discovered Bellingham. That led us to buying the house I live in currently. It was a process of about a year and a half before it happened, but it worked out very well and here we are.
How did you get into band instrument repair and how did that lead to silversmithing?
I opened a small repair shop when I was 23 and offered up my services to people who had horns and needed repairs. I did that full time for around 20 years. I had a couple of customers see me working on a silver trumpet or flute and they inquired if I could also repair something else in silver and I said, well I'll try. That opened the door for silversmith repair.
Is it true that you make your own tools?
Yes, I do. I think a lot of silversmiths do. Sometimes I encounter situations where I have to straighten an area and I don’t have the right tool to move the metal, so I make them.
Dave Friedman shows off a silver, heirloom hand mirror that was sent to him to repair and refurbish. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)
What is your favorite part about your work?
My favorite part is working with my clients and customers. I like the interaction because I like people. I’ve met a lot of interesting people, some very well known, when I was in Beverly Hills, everyday regular folks and everything in between.
When you aren’t working what do you like to do for fun?
I am a news hound; I love current events. I start with Bellingham and Whatcom County, then I spread out to the region, and then the U.S., and then the world.
I love murder mysteries — I call them murder shows. I can binge-watch that stuff for hours. I like boxing, mostly older matches from the ’80s and ’90s. I like old cars — I have a 1952 Kaiser Manhattan.
You are semi-retired, is full retirement in your future?
No, no. I enjoy working. I had a lady today come to me here in Bellingham, she is 92 years old and has lived in Bellingham since 1932 or ’33. When she was a little girl, she had a sugar spoon, and she wants to give it to her granddaughter. I am going to restore it for her, and I enjoy doing that. I still say yes to some people, but small jobs.
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