When we moved into the house on 33rd Circle in Rio Rancho, NM, the fence at the back of the half-acre lot had blown over in a storm. It had suffered through many a wind storm this area is known for, but after forty or so years it took its last lick a few months before we moved in. The landlord replaced the old fence with a stucco wall. He hauled most of the fence to the land fill, but there were still two or more sections of the decaying fence piled in the back by the new wall. He promised to have it hauled away and I told him to leave it. I would cut it up and use it for kindling in the fire-place. Nice dry Western cedar.
So I set up the table saw and started to tear apart the remaining fence. I’d been working on it for several days when a thought came to me from something my brother, who used to own a framing gallery, once did with old barn wood. He made some fantastic frames out of it, and put the history of where the barn wood originated on the back of the frame. I have one hanging in my living room with one of the Wyoming Centennial (1890-1990) 16 X 24 prints of an old barn with the Tetons rising majestically in the background.
That’s when the “Barn Bird Collection” was born. I could make a flock of “barn birds” rising on spring wires from a base, perch one on a high wire between two telephone poles, put one on a barbed-wire fence, and on a rail fence. My creative juices started to flow.
My daughter has sold crafts in a Christmas craft fair in Rio Rancho for several years, so I told her about my barn bird idea. She thought it might work, so I decided to start getting some ready for the fair. I added the “Barn Bird Birdhouse” to the collection as I went along. Well, the “Barn Birds,” led to the “Post People” and the “Crayon Trains” and the “Mailbox Sitters,” and the “Candy Cane Sledders,” and the “Gumball Machine,” and the “Rubber Band Guns”, and the “Big Blue Airplane.” So that’s the reason I haven’t written anything in my blog since September 23rd. I have generated a lot of woodcrafts though. Now I’m worried I won’t have time to finish them all.
D-Day for the Rio Rancho “Holiday Arts and Crafts Festival & Santa’s Workshop” is November 20th. D-Day, of course, is well-known as the day the allies crossed the Channel and invaded France in World War II. Do you know why it was called D-Day? Did it stand for “Deliverance-Day,” “Dooms-Day”, “Death-Day”? Nope. The “D” stands for “Day” just like the “H” in “H-Hour” stands for “Hour.” Until a few hours ago, I thought that D-Day for the crafts fair was November 22nd. November 22nd is emblazoned in most of our memories as the day Lee Harvey Oswald fired three, or was it four, bullets from a 6.5mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. He bought the rifle mail-order from an ad in “American Rifleman” and used it this time from a sixth-floor window of the Texas Book Depository. The same as 9-11 is emblazoned in our minds for the day two American Airlines, Boeing 767s slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center from different directions. Okay, the date I have to show up at the Sabana Grande Community Center is and will not be as memorable as either of those dates, but one thought led to another. From what I can tell, nothing of much historical significance ever happened on November 20th.
So the “Barn Birds,” “Post People,” “Crayon-Trains,” “Mail-Box Sitters,” “Candy-Cane Sledders,” “Rubber-Band Guns,” “Big Blue Airplane,” and my wife got involved with her “Christmas Wreaths,”and “Aroma Kitchen Kozys” and whatever else we can come up with, will be available for purchase at the Sabana Grande Recreation Center on November 20th, from 9-4.
Here’s an example of the post people characters made from landscape timbers, 1 X 6 pine, a scroll saw, glue, paint and some branches.