July 2000

Prez Seys

This month we celebrate July 4th, the most important holiday of this country’s history. Let’s take time to reflect on the sacrifices that the men and women veterans of the military services have given us so that we can have the freedoms that we enjoy in the greatest country in the world.

What is a Veteran?  Some veterans bear visible scars of their services: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.  Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – or perhaps another sort of steel: the soul forged in the refinery of adversity.  Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.  You can’t tell a vet just by looking. What is a veteran?  
-He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.  
-He is the bar room loudmouth, dumber than five planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.  
-She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleeping sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.  
-He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back at all.  
-He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives turning slouchy, no –account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.  
-He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.  
-He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.  
-He is the three anonymous heroes in the Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.  
-He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
-He is an ordinary and yet extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.  
-He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.  
-So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say “Thank you”. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any metals that could have been awarded or were awarded.  
-Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”                -Author unknown

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press?
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech?
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate?
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.                  -Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

I hope you and your families have a safe and happy holiday.  Regards – Don Jackson


This and That

Chick and Jessie Meyer  have asked me to pass the following on to all their friends in the club.  Due to health problems, they have to go into an assisted living apartment. The house is being sold and the workshop must go.  They need to be out by July 30th and what is left will be sold at auction, August 3rd.  They were hoping that some of their friends could take advantage of the sale of the tools, wood, etc.  They would be glad to have you come by to look at what they have, but PLEASE CALL FIRST, 636-441-6610.

Project Committee Schedule:  July 19 - Face carving, August 16 - OPEN, Sept 20 - The Woollards, Oct 18 Barb Smith wood burning Christmas ornaments, November 15 - OPEN.

Belleville Classes:  Joe Schumacher provided the following information on upcoming classes:
--Laura Puntman, July 15 &16, Steamfitters Hall at St. Claire Square -$60 all materials included for 3 projects.
--Janet Denton Cordell, August 25-27, Steamfitters Hall at St. Claire Square --$155 includes blanks. Project will be either small child or small horse.
--Tom Fulford, September 15-17, Belleville Park - $100 includes blank for 16" carousel horse.
For more information or to sign up, call Joe at 636-464-8385, or e-mail  Joe will be out of town until the first week of July.  Confirm dates and prices with Joe when you sign up.

Charlene McMenamy  continues to dominate the Senior Olympics.  She brought home 5 gold medals and qualified to go the the Nationals.  The state competition was held last month. First and second place finishers qualified for the National games which are held every other year. Next year, summer games will be in Baton Rogue LA in July.  


Bob Biermann

After 15 years of woodcarving, the campout is still going strong.  This spring we filled up the Rainmaker Campground with a bunch of enthusiastic carvers. We had a total of 36 people. The project for the weekend was a turtle. We had 19 carvers and by the time we got finished we had turtles all over the campground. Everyone did very well and just about finished their turtle. I even helped paint George Schuey's turtle red with the cut that I got while instructing George. George quickly took his turtle and ran.

It seems like each campout gets better. This year Bill and Barb Cunningham brought two new carvers, Maxine File and Sharon Hogus. They both did a good job on their turtles, but even better than that, they played their mountain dulcimers in the evening around the campfire.  Thanks Barb, Sharon and Maxine, your music made the campout special.  Hope to see you in the Fall.

Jordan Biermann, our granddaughter, has taken over making Smores for everyone around the campfire on Saturday since we lost out gourmet cook Becky Browning to activities that kept her home.

If you would like to join the Fall campout fun on October 6-7-8 at the Rainmaker Campground in Litchfield, IL give me a call so I can reserve a spot for you. If you prefer not to camp, you can just come for the day on that Saturday, carve with us, enjoy the potluck and return home. You don't even have to carve, just come up for the day and relax with all the carvers.

See You In the Fall.  Bob & Ro Biermann, 314.843.6244


Boone Home Display

The club display at the Boone Home turned out to be well worth the effort.  Charles Browning did a great job organizing, arranging for display cases, collecting artwork, and displaying the items.  We can be proud of the showing the club made there.  "Promotion of the appreciation and art of woodcarving and associated crafts through exhibitions", our clubs primary object, was well attended.  

Even the longest trips begin with but one step.  Our first step was a little tenuous and I am sure Charlie thought it was very long with all the display cases loaded in his truck.  Careful measuring of the truck bed and case selection saved the day and all three cases made it in one trip.  The Beverly Hillbillys came to mind.

The display was set up in the Boone Home Theater, where all the tours begin.  We had some great carvings, and burnings, as well as information on the club.  Due to the lighting and available distance from the case, I had to be a little creative in my picture editing to show the whole thing.  Charlie warned me that it would be hard to get a picture, but I had to try.

The display went over so good that the original two week stay was extended.  We expected to have the art back by the June 21st. meeting.  We currently expect to have it back for the July 5th. meeting, but it may be extended even further.  If anyone needs their pieces earlier, contact Charlie, and he will arrange to have the pieces exchanged.

Even after the display departs the Boone Home,  woodcarving as well as advertisement for the club will continue.  Charles will be working there in the wood shop.  Eventually, he will be carving a life size statue of Daniel Boone, and carving classes are also planned.  Classroom facilities are being built in the attic of the log cabin wood shop.

The Boone Home is a wonderful place to visit.  The old buildings and history lectures given in the tours make it well worth the time.  In addition, our members have a standing invitation to go down to the air-conditioned wood shop and spend time carving.  Charlie is currently there on Thursdays.  Other days are also available to anyone interested in such an outing.    


There was a surprise visitor at the June 21st meeting.  A member of the local fire department delivered a special birthday cake for Rainy Woollard.  Unfortunately, he also served her with a notice of violation of the open burning ordinance.  

The meeting room was appropriately decorated for the occasion and the subject was certainly surprised.  Doug did an outstanding job of keeping it a secret and pulled out all the stops to make the evening a memorable one for Rainy.

I sure hope he was as adept at maintaining his happy home as he was in the instigation, planning, and implementation of this event.

Cake and ice cream followed the meeting and a good time was had by all.  Except maybe for Rainy, who took the event in stride.  I'm sure that living with Doug is always a barrel of laughs.  

I'm not too sure how the events of the actual birthday went.  Some of the things that were being planned seemed pretty robust.  

Anyway, here's wishing Rainy a happy birthday, and thanks for the cake and ice cream.  I wouldn't want to be 16 again, but I could sure handle celebrating the same birthday as you.


Show and Tell

We had some interesting Show and Tell items in June.  One was the results of the Yam carving from the Spring Campout.  It is hard to tell what the originals looked like from these pieces.  It was an interesting exercise in carving.  Not only did it give us some fast experience in carving faces and caricatures, it made all our carving tools look really sharp.  Barb also brought in her finished cross from the campout. (Below)  Great job as usual, Barb.  Thanks again for two great projects.


Chong Kim finished his pair of birds.  He has started on an eagle chasing a rabbit that looks very interesting.  Billy Lee embarked on a new area.  His first effort carving an Indian in walnut turned out very good.  It is finished with a mixture of linseed oil, varnish, and turpentine.  Larry Keller finished his Indian mask from a Phares seminar.  There was a rumor that the seminar was held in 1997.  It was carved in butternut, painted in acrylics and finished with gel varnish. There has been a lot of woodburning going around, so not to be outdone, I had to do a box also.  It is a pre-built box, colored with pastel acrylic crayons and sealed with Deft Wood Sealer.  



JULY DISPLAY CASE - Arnold and Joyce Fritz

Affiliations:  St Charles Area Woodcarvers, Mid America Woodcarvers Association and The National Woodcarvers Association.

Interests:  We both like carving in the round.  We have done some realistic carving and also like doing caricatures.  We do some relief and chip carving and woodburning.

Background:  We are retired teachers from Fort Zumwalt School District.  Arnold took his first beginning carving class in 1992 and Joyce began carving a year later.

Training:  Arnold took his first class from Cletus Sparks.  We have taken classes from Dave Lincoln, Stu Martin, Bob Travis, Burl Franks, and many others.  

Advice:  Take a class, join a club, pick up a knife, and enjoy carving.


Upcoming Events and Activities

July 2000

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16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
July 5 Regular monthly business meeting
July 8 Saturday Carving, 9 to 3
July 19 Regular carving meeting.  Face carving
July 22 Saturday Carving, 9 to 3

Wonders of Wood Show  -   16 - 17 September  -  Make plans now

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