Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Tree, fun and my life

I was around building because most churches dad pastored he built additions or remodeling. I spent some of my childhood cleaning and stacking debris or straightening nails for reuse (definitely a job of the past!)


I made bird houses, scooters and wagons. Luke Tucker a man I admired, gave me my first job as a carpenter. His son Vondale and I were close friends. I learned a lot from that soft spoken man. One of the first things I learned was how to open my (warm) coke with my hammer handle(smile).

I spilled my nails from my apron once, and was picking them up. He stopped looked at me and asked, “Jackie, what am I paying you?”

“75¢ an hour.”

The nails cost me 9¢ a pound, don’t waste my time any more, let ‘em lay. We might get ‘em when we clean up.”  He taught me comparative costs.


He also taught me a love for solid timber and beautiful paneling. Not the cheap paneling you see today. When he didn’t know I was watching, he might be sliding his hand over some piece of walnut or oak.

“Jackie, there is a whole college worth of information on this framing square, you need to learn it.”

 framing_square-fig7 Screen-Shot-2012-05-10-at-3.01.34-PM-300x300  chappell-2

Luke was absolutely right, you would have to see an old framing square. Knowing how to use it you can build any roof, and cut any stairs. It gives the length of rafters, both angles and the bird’s mouth (a cut that fits the rafter to the plate). Luke was easy to admire, he never had a new truck, ‘don’t need one’ he said.


I admired watching him cut those angles, I never mastered the framing square like the old men did, but I got by. After Luke retired and I had quit running all over the world, I came back and was in the building business. He called one day and asked if I would build and addition for him. I was thrilled.

I drove over to look at the job. No problem simple job. “One thing Jackie, if you take the job you have to hire Wendy, she will do good and wants the job.”

Wendy was Vondale and Rose’s daughter.

She and I worked well together, and she was no slacker, that girl worked. WE were all satisfied with the job.

Trees produced the timber, that produced the lumber that gave me the best times of my life at work. A job that I hated to leave at the end of the day and could hardly wait for Monday morning so I could start again.

Nite Shipslog


I hope in your life you have found that ‘nitch’, that job that not only supported you, but you loved.


   scan1982-84 033

gtmoa scan0015


Unknown said...

I remember Daddy's "square." All the little markings were a mystery, but I knew it was great for marking a line at a perfect right angle to an edge.


My husbands old framing square helped side our house. I understand the urge to gently slide your hand over a beautiful piece of wood. Something special about it for sure.

shirl72 said...

Wood is fascinating. When the
trees get old and fall in the woods
that is when I like to get them.
The wood is beautiful when you
spray a flat paint of a dark red
or burgundy. It look like Arizona red wood trees.

Paula said...

I remember us straightening nails one time, don't remember for what.

Mevely317 said...

I'd never heard of a framing square!
... Then again, I suspect there's a big chunk of lore we 'city folk' sadly missed out on. (Poor grammar, but I'm pooped tired.)
To have a mentor like Luke must have been such a blessing!

betty said...

Neat with how you got your start with building with Luke; I'm sure the lessons he taught you, you still employ when building something :)


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I know how good it feels to make something with your own hands and know that you've done a good job of it, so I can imagine to a small extent the joy you have in building. Not everyone finds something they love to do like you have, but I do think we all have a gift to do certain things and it's a wonderful thing when you know what it is and do it.