Saturday, May 24, 2014

That Old Cotton Field Back Home

Logo from Walker Woodworking website. 

I've written about picking cotton in a blog a did a year or so ago, but this post is about a cotton field that has disappeared.  We were in Cleveland County last week, and I went over to visit my former next-door neighbor (Janet Walker).  Janet was just a little kid when I used to go down to her house to pick cotton with her mother, Selma Withrow*.  I loved that particular field because at the end of the field there was a wonderful honey locust tree that in the fall produced brown pods that had a sweet pulp.  One could squeeze out a bit of sugary treat which was nice after a day of picking cotton.  This was better than sucking on a lollipop.

I knew that Janet's son, Travis, had a woodworking shop, but I had no idea that what he really has is a 10,000 sq. ft. woodworking "factory"  that occupies most of that former cotton field.  In 1996 Travis was working as a paramedic when he began woodworking as a hobby.  He borrowed a few thousand dollars from his grandmother, hoping to turn his hobby into a small side business. From the little garage where he was the only woodworker, in eighteen years he has expanded and now has a successful business that employs 28 people.  Cleveland County must be very proud of this local entrepreneur.
Travis, founder and CEO of Walker Woodworking. 

Travis took Dan and me on a tour of the "factory".  Here are some of what we saw.  It was amazing.
3/4″ domestic plywood is the very best and most expensive material you can use for cabinet construction.
Wood is cut from a digital design. 
I love these beautiful dovetail joints in the drawers.
Part of the assembly room.

A large screen where the customer can see the proposed kitchen design.

Little did I know when I was picking cotton some 60+ years ago that one day a successful woodworking shop would occupy the space.  I know that Selma would be very proud to see what exists in that former cotton field where she and I spent many happy days picking cotton. Happy for me anyway, because I got paid and that's how I earned my spending money in those days. 

This blog post shows only a mere hint of what Walker Woodworking creates.  Check out their current website and a new website  that is under construction to see the wonderful cabinetry they have designed and constructed, the many awards they have won and meet the wonderful staff of the company.

* Not only did I spend many a day with Selma Withrow picking cotton, but she was also my piano teacher, the director of the youth choir in my church, and the glee director at my high school. 

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