Mostly, Michael would stay up late in the barn and tend to his woodworking. He was a passionate craftsman. He was more of an artist really, but he hated titles and pretension and insisted that his craft was merely a hobby.
On his hikes he would locate and collect burls to make into fine bowls, and tabletops to sell in town and in the city when they needed money.
Michael met the Lavery boys on one such trip he was making into Seattle.
His small craft was having a bit of engine trouble in the port of Langley, where it was docked.
Some friendly Irish lads offered to lend him a hand. The darker complected of the two was quiet and went by the name Daniel. The other, Joseph, was far more outspoken, had a rudy complection and a firm handshake. He spoke with Joseph while Daniel immediatly took to tinkering with the engine of Michaels small craft.
He was immediately intrigued with them, they said they were coming through on business, and he knew just what kind. He immediately pinned them for bootleggers based on the style of their craft and the way they were dressed. Also, their boat seemed a bit too weighted down to be carrying anything other then barrels of booze.
After working all morning to fix the problem without success, the boys offered to give him a lift into Seattle on their own craft since they were headed that way anyhow. After the time they had invested in helping him, he felt obliged to accept their kind offer, that and his family was in desperate need of some cash.
On the short trip across the Puget Sound they chatted like old friends.
Michael had an earnest but kind nature and told the lads that they were not as discreet about their business as they ought to be. He advised them to dress down, and carry fishing gear like crab pots on their boat, in plain sight so as not to arouse suspicion.
This of course was during their early years of rum running and they were grateful for his honesty. By the time they docked in the city Michael had given Daniel and Joseph his address, and invited them to come and visit the island any time they liked. He even offered to give them a barrel of his own homemade cider to try if they came.
As it turned out, the boys did visit when they had business out on Whidbey Island, and they found it to be a welcoming and lively place, especially in the summer when lots of folks were coming and going.