Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


September 24, 1981



Allen B. Metcalfe of Weston, Mass., a modelmaker for 18 years for Polaroid Corp., took a 90-day trial retirement in the fall of 1978, and never returned to his job. His "second trajectory" was to become a jeweler:

Skip to next paragraph

"I knew beforehand I wouldn't have any trouble with retirement. My problem is not what to to do. I've always had just the opposite problem."

"I saw my daughter tumbling stones, polishing them in a machine. I became interested. I said, "Gee whiz, let me borrow that for a while."

"I tumbled more stones. I fooled around with silver. I subscribed to the Lapidary Journal.I learned about stones and mountings -- malachite, jasper, crazy lace agate, opal, tiger eye, African sodalite. I learned about ivory and scrimshaw."

"I took a couple of lessons. They weren't quitem useless. From there I felt my way along and had fun."

"One of the first tools I bought was a diamond saw."

"I've always liked to work with my hands. I can't stand paperwork."

"I made pendants, belt buckles, earrings, bracelets, rings. All my orders are word of mouth."

"When I retired my friends at work gave me two fishing reels -- salt water and fresh water. I've been too busy to use either one."

"I'm a very happy person. If I'd known it would be like this, I'd have retired 20 years ago."