I remember when I was on the wait list for a Wyatt wheel - a beloved Pegasus, that mighty wheel made of mesquite, turned by Mr. Wyatt in his Texas workshop. I never met Bill Wyatt in person, but we had a few lovely phone conversations when I'd ordered a wheel from him. He was an Alaskan pilot for some years, and we had a great time talking about those days! I got on the wait list when I was a relatively new spinner; and that was many years back. While I was waiting, he sent me a turned wooden bowl, just a small one; I still have that little gift and treasure it.
I never got my wheel made; Mr. Wyatt became quite ill and never got to make it. I managed to find one, and bought it - and it was truly a beautiful wheel. But it wasn't exactly right for me; Myles Jakuboski, the man who took over Wyatt wheels, did some retro-fitting on it that made it pretty sweet; but it wasn't " just right" for me. I sold that wheel some years ago.
Now, a wheel that belonged to a friend and mentor has been made available to me. My friend Myler was a remarkably well-known and renowned women in the Alaska fiber arts scene. She was a force to reckon with! She was funny, fierce, and influenced many lives.
I plan to purchase Myler's Pegasus wheel; she knew for years that I wanted it, and we laughed about it every time I saw her . I say, "Hey Myler! Are you ready to sell that wheel yet"? She wasn't ever ready, but knew who to call once she was. I never let her forget!
I will treasure that wheel. I never had one made for me by Bill Wyatt; but Myler had! And Myler was a right-handed spinner, like me. Her wheel will fit me to a "T" and I am so grateful. Myler was one of the FIRST women I met in Alaska. She coordinated the Valley Fiber Arts Guild retreat, and I'll never forgot how much fun I had that first year when I met her. I felt like I had a mentor from the start! And now, the wheel I wanted when I first started spinning will come to live with me, as my friend and first mentor has no need for it any longer.
Myler passed away last night in her sleep after some illness. I was really glad I got to see her earlier that day. I was able to hold her hand, stroke her forehead, and tell her that she is loved.
My heart is a bit heavy for our loss in the Alaska fiber arts community. Myler! We adore you, and respect everything you did in this community. I know I am not speaking just for myself when I say you changed many lives for the better. Rest well, and fly with angels, my friend.
Myler left a substantial legacy in Alaska; many people over the years learned to spin because of her. She was an institution before and during the Alaska State Fair every fall, handing out free spindles and wool to anyone who was interested. She coordinated fair entries and judging, and came to our guild meetings admonishing us to get in lots of entries! She knew how important it is to have a historical presence at big events like the fair. She cultivated friendship and mentored the newbies. She made a difference for many people, for many years.