Today, I will drop my daughter off at Gentry’s Farm camp. Sitting here this morning something triggered my memory of a special request.
In the summer of 2009 I received a call from Mr. Jimmy Gentry. If you don’t know who Mr. Gentry is, or have not read his book, I encourage you to buy his book “An American Life”, read it, then go find him.
OK, let me say that again, go find him and shake his hand. Seriously, drop what you are doing and go shake his hand. For what you think is important, really is not, and we should all be thankful of a real hero.
So when Mr. Gentry called and asked me come to the farm I did so. We sat down on a bench and he showed me a hole in the ground where an archeological dig was in process. This place, he explained, was where the ice house once stood. Over time, the hole once used to store ice was now filled with small artifacts. Glass bottles, caps, arrow heads, and some Civil War Buttons.
Mr. Gentry’s vision was to create a new building over the existing foundation for his art studio. The studio would be a place where he could paint, and was to include a display cabinet for the items now unearthed. I accepted the request and we walked over to a barn where he was storing some old barn beams.
The beams landed on the bed of my truck in a cloud of dust, and as the carpenter bees flew out of their nests I headed back to the shop. First order of business, remove the rusted nails and resaw the beams into some usable stock. Although it has now been 3 years, I can still remember the day I started pulling out those nails. It was hot, dusty, and my hands were numb as the carpal tunnel flared in my wrists. I told myself this is nothing, compared to what the real man that would soon look into this glass top case has endured.
Old growth air dry poplar with real insect tracts is a thing of beauty, but nothing in comparison to the man who can tell you what is really important in life.