The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 8, 2001 · Page 23
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 23

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 8, 2001
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Page 23
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SUNDAY APRILS, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL ENGAGEMENTS / D2 MILESTONES / D3 VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES / D6 arving Vche Woodcarvers find they continue to get better with age a T LIFE STORIES ^ Fred Williamson, Lyons, who has been carving for more than a decade, works on a carving. Williamson frequently brings wood to the carving group from his trips to Colorado. By GARY DEMUTH The Saliim Journal MARQUETTE — When Edna Larson started carving wooden figures 23 years ago, she suffered from arthritis in her hands. Every time she twisted, turned and gouged the carving knife, waves of pain shot through her body But this didn't stop her — she liked wood carving and continued to slice and shape blocks of wood despite the pain. Amazingly, after a few years, she found her arthritis had begun to diminish. Today, the arthritis is gone, and Larson, 85, is still carving. "Carving helped me stay healthy over the years," the Marquette resident said. "It's really a good hobby for elderly people. There's a lot of physical detail work, and you have to use your brain a lot. If I didn't have this to do, I'd probably be sleeping all the time," Larson's love of carving inspired her to found the Smoky Valley Wood Chippers, a group of wood carvers who meet from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. each Tuesday at the Marquette Senior Center. The group, mostly comprised of senior citizens, has been whittling away since 1977. Only three charter members remain from the original 15. Anyone interested in the art of wood carving is invited to visit the Chippers' workshop in the back room of the old Farmers State Bank, next door to the senior center, Larson said. "There's usually about six of us here all the time, but a couple of men come from Great Bend and one comes from Ellsworth now and then," she said. Larson said the atmosphere of the group is fun and well, chipper, with each member sharing carving tips and expressing support for each other's work. They also have invited professional wood carvers to share their techniques and have attended workshops and seminars throughout the area to improve their skills. "We're just all senior citizens who find carving a very enjoyable and relaxing craft," she said. "Some people don't think they have any talent to do this, but that's nonsense. You just have to have a willingness to learn and jump into it. "It helps to have a few Band-Aids, too. You tend to cut yourself a lot when you first start. Those carving knives can be really sharp." Bert Stevenson, Kanopolls, watches Fred Williamson carve a face Into a piece of wood. Williamson instructs other wood carvers in the Marquette group. Learning wood skills Larson said the group practices five basic techniques of wood carving: Photos by TOM DORSEY / The Sallna Journal Kenneth McHenry, Ellsworth, Is framed by some of his work as he carves during a meeting of the Smoky Valley Wood Chippers. McHenry only meets with the Marquette group a few times a year. • Country Carving, where imprints are _____ lightly carved into a cut of wood. • Low Relief, where light cuts and gouges are made to create a more detailed and three- dimensional pattern. • High Relief, the same as Low Relief, only the cuts are deeper. • Half-Round, a pattern that utilizes half the wood while leaving the other half uncarved. See CARVE, Page D4 ''^^^^^^_-_Z_ULS ir ifnirJiiiii 'iVii' iiiii^^ mi Members of the Smoky Valley Wood Chippers gather to work on their wood carvings on a recent Leah Rasmussen-Russell, 63, carves near a window to get Tuesday in the former Farmers State Bank at Marquette. Members of the club have been meeting for better light. Rasmussen-Russell carves a variety of Items 23 years, but only three original members remain active. but particularly enjoys humorous "character carving." W. BRUCE CAMERON Denver Rocky Mountain News Buying shoes My wife is on a constant prowl for shoes, which she puts into two categories: "cute" and "perfect." So one Saturday not long ago, I found myself pulled into a shoe store, standing patiently while my wife burrowed into the racks in search of cute perfection. I demonstrated my patience by murmuring supportive statements such as "How about you stay here and I'll go out to the street and throw myself under a passing car," and "I'm so bored I think I'm bleeding internally" Then my wife turned to me with a pair of athletic shoes in her hand. "These are perfect for our daughter!" she exclaimed. "Aren't they cute? Let's get them for her birthday" Then she frowned — not because my expression indicated I was sliding into cardiac apathy, but because a rather important detail suddenly occurred to her, one that would shape the rest of my afternoon. "I'm not sure what size she wears anymore, and these are all-sales-final. Tell you what: Call home, and have someone check what size shoes she wears for volleyball. But don't let her know what you're doing!" I nodded and went to the phone. My 13-year-old son answered, and I explained what I needed. "Check her shoe size, but without her knowing that's what I'm doing," he repeated. "Right." "OK." I waited with the phone pressed to my ear, and after a minute suddenly heard a series of loud thumps, followed by angry shrieking. Reviewing my instructions to my son, I suddenly had a bad feeling. "Dad!" my daughter blurted, coming on the line. "That idiot just tackled me and took off my shoe!" "He did? Why did he do that?" I inquired innocently "I don't know! He's a jerk. Then he threw my shoe on the roof of the garage." "He what?" "Now he's trying to climb up the tree next to the garage. I'm going to kill him! I have to leave for volleyball in 10 minutes!" "Let me talk to him." "Well that's sort of difficult since we forgot to install a phone in the tree." "Don't we have a portable?" "It's in the kitchen! Like I'm sure I'm supposed to walk all over the house with only one shoe on." "I need to speak to him." With an irritated sigh, she dropped the receiver and went to get the portable. My wife drifted by and raised her eyebrows in a questioning expression. I gave her the thumbs-up sign. "Do we know the size?" she mouthed. I shook my head. "No, but we know we won't have to waste money sending our son to college," I told her. She gave me a puzzled look. With a lot of loud noises, my son was on the line. "Hi Dad," he greeted calmly "Where are you?" "On top of the garage." "What are you doing on top of the garage?" I demanded. My question stopped him. "That's what you told me to do," he replied after a moment. "I told you to climb up on the roof of the garage," I repeated carefully "No, but you said not to let her see me looking at her shoe. I figured this was the best way" "I... OK. What size shoe is it?" "I don't know," he told me. "Help me out here, son." "I don't have it anymore." "Who has it?" "The dog." See CAMERON, Page D4 SUGGESTIONS? CALL BRET WALLACE, ASSISTANT EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT 8jbwallace@saliournal.com

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