Thursday, September 05, 2013

Working with my hands

I was flipping through some old photographs trying to find something to use here tonight when I came across one of my grandpa Charlie.
He was good at many things. Most of his early years were spent scratching coal from the bowels of the earth and hauling it to the surface in wagons running on narrow-gauge rails, and pulled by mules.
In later years, he built those old mining cars for mine owners, in his back yard. He also made shoes for mining mules out of bars of steel.
My grandparents lived next door to us so every time I'd hear Pap fire up his kiln, I'd head over to watch.
He'd start by piling heart-pine kindling on his fire pit, and then he'd stack small lumps of coal around the flames.
Once the fire started, he'd flip on his blower which he salvaged from the hearter of an old Dodge Desota.
The blower supplied oxygen from the bottom of the kiln, and soon he had white-hot flames dancing on his work surface, which were perfect for forging horse shoes and hand-made tools.
I love my time with Pap and I think the time I spent with him helped me to enjoy working with my hands.
This picture has nothing to do with my grandpa, but it's one I came across and decided to do my Photoshop art on.


  1. I loved reading those memories. My husband's grandpa also did some mining - in Utah somewhere, but not sure what he was mining. We have his old miner's hat light on display in my husband's office.

  2. It is wonderful to have such great memories of your pap... ;)

  3. Sounds like wonderful memories of your pap Charlie. Some of my fondest memories of my life are helping my papaw in his garden.

  4. I didn't spend much time around grandparents. I wish I had.


  5. What wonderful memories, Rick. There aren't many true artisans like that left in the world anymore. xo Diana


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