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Friday, October 18, 2013

Wood Is Good

A few years ago I had to cut down a tree in my side yard that was close to the street. I left a 2ft. stump remaining so that I could make an attempt at carving with a chainsaw, which is something I've always wanted to try. If my effort turned out badly, I could easily cut the stump off and remove all the evidence. After roughing out the basic shape with the chainsaw, I went to work with a hammer and chisel. I was just winging it with an Easter Island image in mind, but the end result was more "Tiki" in appearance. I thought it looked a little too primative and untrefined. But my wife at the time and some friends insisted that it was worth keeping. A good friend named it "Nebookaneezer" as it resembles a prophetic cartoon idol in a newspaper comic strip called "Crock". We soon shortened the name to just "Neb".

As time went on, my humble sculpture became quite popular with residents in the neighborhood. Cars would slow down for a look and sometimes people would hop out and take photos. Young families strolled by daily and made it a point to stop and let their children visit with Neb. Little kids would place pebbles in Neb's mouth in an effort to "feed" him. Over time Neb received other gifts such as hats, sunglasses, and Mardi Gras beads from his many admirers. These anonymous donations would often arrive around holiday times.

Neb as Neo from "The Matrix".

Neb received more gifts around St. Patrick's Day than any other time of the year.
He has three different hats for the occasion.


 Left: Late day shadows make this Easter photo one of my favorites. Middle: A rare snowfall for my region of Texas.  Bottom: Christmas time and Happy Neb Year's Eve.

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