Project Woodchips has brought so many great people into our lives—many with experiences and backgrounds so unlike ours; all of them generous and real. But there was only one Scott MacBlane, and it breaks our hearts to say goodbye to him so soon.
Generosity isn’t common in New York City. Scott was at once a person you never expected to meet here (he was overwhelmingly generous, big-hearted, warm) and someone you would ONLY meet here (he was a man of mystery, of story, of a million social circles and of a completely, wonderfully indefinable character). In a city of a million acquaintances and a handful of friends (if you’re lucky), Scott was that rare human who was everyone’s friend, and he started to make our dreams come true the day we met him.
When we pitched Gotham Archery an idea to host a woodsman demo in their space last June, we had no clue what we were doing. “This is Scott. He’s been helping us out. You guys should talk.” In a single meeting, we went from thinking we could never pull it off to believing that we absolutely would. Scott had talent and smarts to do anything—and he had a way of making you believe you did too—but he was also the first to throw his hands up and fix a broken toilet, find a tool, call “a guy” only he would know that would solve the problem faster and better than anyone.
He was not a morning person, but he’d regularly show up at the crack of dawn to open Gotham for whatever odd axe-throwing thing we wanted to shoot. He didn’t even ask us questions; instead, he showed up before we needed him to be there, brewed an amazing pot of coffee, and hung out like the most natural third alongside our little two-person outfit.
A few weeks ago, Scott gave up a Saturday to drive a Uhaul to far out Long Island so we could pick up some old targets we’d left in a friend’s backyard. He talked the whole way. About his family and what an awesome kid his nephew was turning out to be. About his crew at Gotham and how they had become his family. About friends out in San Francisco who had known him forever and made that city feel like home. A four-hour drive went by in a flash.
Once, when he was a kid, Scott snuck into the trunk of a stock racing car right before the race. Because, of course. “Oh my god, the sound. It was so loud and so fast. I could feel the vibration for days. It was awesome!” That’s kind of what it was like to know Scott, too.
Some of you got the chance to meet Scott during our Axes After Dark event—he was the tall, bearded guy who looked more like he should be there than anyone else. He was also the guy who showed up the earliest to help us to set up, and he was the one still there when we left at 1am, after refusing to let us run the shop vac to clear out the last bits of woodchips.
Even if he’d been around for a dozen more lifetimes, I don’t think we could have done enough to repay Scott for all the good he did for us. We’d finally got him to accept an invitation to let us take him out to dinner, and our hearts break all over again that he couldn’t stick around a few more days so that we could have gone. Scott, tonight at 7pm when we should have been eating steaks and drinking whiskey with you at Prime Meats, we’ll be toasting you and thanking you for all the magic you created for us.
And, finally but so, so importantly, we want to send all of our love to Scott’s family and everyone at Gotham Archery who we know are dealing with an indescribable loss. He loved you guys so, so, so much. We are grateful that we got the chance to know your son, your brother, your friend, your ally, and we won’t pretend for a second to imagine your pain.
With all our love,
Caitlin and Paula