NORMAN — Dan Selchow has quite an impressive resume. He built and carved the doors at St. John’s Episcopal Church. He has 50 plus years of woodworking experience under his belt. He’s made banjos and mandolins, too. Dan Selchow has even made the cabinetry and staircase in his house, pleasing his wife Jean, his most important client.
Most recently, Selchow has been making Native American Flutes. What started out as a retirement hobby, has now become a new career.
In October, Selchow had a once-in-a-lifetime experience when a few of his flutes traveled to the Vatican with Brother Isidore Harden for the canonization ceremony of Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be proclaimed a saint.
Selchow and his wife belong to the Flute Circle at Jacobson House. Through the gathering of the Flute Circle, Selchow was introduced to Bro. Harden of St. Gregory’s Abbey in Shawnee.
During a conversation with Harden, Selchow learned that Harden and his Monsignor were traveling to Italy for the canonization of Tekakwitha.
“He (Harden) thought it would be nice to take some small flutes. He was looking at purchasing some flutes from a person who mass produces flutes. I said, ‘I’d be happy to build some for you,’” Dan said.
Selchow then came home and built a small prototype of a flute. After sending Bro. Harden a few photos, Selchow heard nothing.
“Then I happened to bring a small flute to the Flute Circle. He (Harden) was there and he really liked it so he ordered five,” Dan said.
The next morning, Dan received a call from Harden saying that the Monsignor was so happy with the flutes, he wanted to purchase more.
Shortly after the purchase of eight flutes, Bro. Harden traveled to Italy for the canonization ceremony. Again, a few days went by and Dan heard nothing.