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Easel for a friend

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  • Easel for a friend

    My neighbor and friend Larry is in his late 70's and a country-boy South Carolinian. And as most people, he has a story. And as with most Southerners, he can TELL a story!

    His wife Millie had seen her health go down, and as their entire family lived in the east central Indiana area, they thought it best to move here, so she could be close to kin.

    Larry never met a stranger, and as is the case most times, when he sees my cave door roll up, he'll wander over and sit a spell. Over the last few years, I've gotten to know him. Especially now, as his beloved wife Millie passed away the day after Christmas last.

    Anyway, Larry asked me if I would construct a stand or easel for a large wood 1st. Cav Army insignia Millie's nephew carved for him. Of course I said "sure" and he brought it over.

    Now, Larry's story is unique. He quit school at 16, and the only "legal" job in the holler where he lived was the sawmill. So, at 18, he joined the army. Larry did three tours of duty in Viet Nam, got his GED. As a side gunner on a Huey. His 3rd tour was short- a SAM got their Huey and crashed. The crew was rescued, and it, too took fire and crashed. Larry's new address was Walter Reed hospital for a time. Then back home and to the sawmill.

    Gets funny, here. Larry and his brother talked things over one late night out drinking, and first thing in the morning, they were at a navy recruiter. Larry laughs, "It was great, Dave! Aboard ship, they had beds to sleep in, and 3 hot meals!"

    He made the navy his home for many years.

    Anyway, Larry is active in the 1st. Air Cav reunion association, and for years now wanted to donate the insignia Millie had commissioned to the association's silent auction to raise money for veterans. He thought it would be better displayed on a easel, than as a wall hanging. He even bought a large oak board to make it from, but never got around to it. Not long ago, he asked me if I would make it. I said Sure!

    Sorry. Making a short story long again.


    Larry brought it over, with a sketch of what he had in mind, and the oak board he'd bought years ago. Now, I'm ashamed of this- I was at first appalled at the plaque. Millie's nephew carved this out of a 1-5/8" thick piece of solid oak. Completely by hand. With gouges and chisels. Now, oak is harder than a whore's heart, and not a carving wood, but this guy got 'er done. I am now ashamed of myself for thinking it and now have a lot of appreciation for this. It's 16" tall, and weighs a ton!

    The challenge was to minimize what the easel would look like and also display a metal plaque over it, and make it sturdy enough. Here's the 1st. Cav insignia, and Millie's nephew did damned good!

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    The struggle for me was to use the board Larry furnished. It was warped to hell and gone!

    I'd traded my jointer to my son Aaron for a Glock. LOL But I just compensated for the oil-drum shape.
    Last edited by Big D; 07-29-2018, 08:18 AM.
    2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

    Official HERD Member #00192

    "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman

  • #2
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    I just have the brass thing taped on. I have yet to put Tung oil finish on it.


    Larry asked me how much I was gonna charge him for this. To this man? That got two Hueys shot out from under him? And for all the years he put in, serving his country? And undergoing all the mental and physical pain he's had to cope with, thereafter?

    I told him it was my absolute pleasure.

    All of us lucky ones should bend a knee to these wonderful heroes.
    2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

    Official HERD Member #00192

    "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman


    • #3
      Very nice Dave , hard to believe someone could carve all that Oak out. that must have taken forever and then some
      1986 FXR 2015 Road Glide

      Member #00014


      • #4
        nice clean work
        Ride in Peace Wndchsr


        • #5
          Love it...
          2010 FLHX - Street Glide
          HERD MEMBER #00003


          • #6
            Looks GREAT! I love the whole story

            Official HERD Member #00230

            Westchester County, NY
            '17 FLHXS Street Glide Special


            • #7
              wow from oak , hhmmm , you got the raw deal with the glock tho' .. Love yeller tools also .. Looks like we gots the same DW chop saw .. And the wood shop looks as cluttered as mine ..


              • #8
                Originally posted by JacktheBagger View Post
                ... you got the raw deal with the glock tho' ... And the wood shop looks as cluttered as mine ..
                Naw, Jack. The jointer was a cheap one, and the G-22 .40 cal is the second-most-accurate pistol I've ever owned. And yup! It's pretty messy...


                Here's my friend Larry, with his 1st. Cav stuff...

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                2001 FXDX Superglide Sport. More horses than a feller would want

                Official HERD Member #00192

                "What, me worry?" Alfred E. Neuman


                • #9
                  Very nice and to repeat, out of oak is impressive!
                  Rockin' is my business...Business is good
                  2014 FLHRSE
                  U.S. ARMY Veteran


                  • #10
                    Great story, and great piece of work, Dave.

                    Please tell Larry that a country boy from Arkansas said "THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE."
                    Ride EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. Father Time is undefeated.

                    Ride in Peace, Ricky "Rubberdown" Massey
                    Ride Forever Free, Larry Weaver
                    See you on the other side, Jeff.

                    Official HERD Member #00181


                    • #11
                      Nice project Dave, both the insignia and the stand. Please pass along my condolences for the loss of his wife and appreciation for his service.
                      HERDster #204

                      Ride On Larry Weaver
                      Wndchsr, catch you in the breeze my friend


                      • #12
                        love my 40 shield , rather had a 45 shield , and not long ago they started it in 45 , but I still have my slab siders


                        • #13
                          Love the story Dave, and your work was great, but I LOVE the hand carving, awesome all way around!!
                          Miles are on a road map, close to home is here
                          Very Proud member #99
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                          Count your life by smiles, not tears:
                          Count your age by friends, not years.
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