Back in the Saddle Again

Updated: Mar 7

Submitted by Bob Wolfe

Mark Sillay - working with Mike at the Oktoberfest Hands-On Workshop


It was April 4, 2021. when Mike Maffitt, former President and Lifetime Member of Mid South Woodturners Guild, suffered a major stroke. The initial news was not good. The stroke caused extensive damage and it was not clear that Mike would even survive this stroke. Mike was air lifted to the hospital and thankfully got the needed treatments to save his life. It took many more weeks to fully assess the extent of the stroke’s damage.

Due to prayers, loving care from his wife Terry, and perseverance by Mike, he is once again mobile and able to walk around on his own. The stroke left him with restrictive control of his right hand and the inability to communicate clearly. Mike has attended a program through the University of Memphis to improve his communications skills. Throughout this ordeal, Mike has remained mentally sharp and still has his sense of humor. Mike continues to amaze all who were aware of his situation, but no one thought Mike would ever be able to return to one of his loves, turning wood.

In preparation for our October demonstration, we found out that our featured demonstrator, Mark Sillay, has worked with the Wounded Warriors Project ( getting even blind warriors on the lathe. We asked if Mark could work with Mike to get him safely back on the lathe.

During the Hands-On portion of the club’s OKTOBERFEST, Mark worked with Mike to learn how to spindle cut, roughing out a blank, V-grooves, beads, and coves. Mark then stayed over after OKTOBERFEST and continued working with Mike. The following photos are from these few days of caring help.

Enjoy the view. Mike’s BACK IN THE SADDLE again.

Click of photo to enlarge.

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