L.D Lindgens got his first Barlow pocket knife when he was about 6 years old. It didn’t take him long to start whittling with it.
“The whiting gradually morphed into something identifiable, like cars or crude airplanes,” said Lindgens, who has lived with his wife, Jean, in New Douglas for about five years. “My dad, however, thought whittling was a waste of time and that I should do something useful, like pulling weeds out of the garden — discouraging to say the least.”
But he was not dissuaded. Nearly three-quarters of a century later, Lindgens is still working wood, though his equipment is much more sophisticated now than just a pocket knife.
Before moving to New Douglas from Kyle, Texas, Lindgens had to mothball his hobby for a while, due to a number of reasons. But his new home proved to be the spark that rekindled his passion. The a stand-alone two car garage at his home, which previously housed a bicycle repair shop, was ideally suited for his little enterprise, which he calls “Wood ’N’ Stuff.”
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His first projects started out as gifts, mostly for his grandchildren. These included small crates, tool boxes, and miniature livestock feeding troughs, which served as candy and snack dishes. One of the favorite treats filling those troughs would be “Grandpa’s Gourmet Mix,” which consisted of homemade cereal snacks.
But now that he is retired, Lindgens, a former Southern Baptist minister, has begun selling his art, and adding new items.
“My personal favorite craft at the moment is a single, miniature red rose with a pin on the back,” he said. “I am making them for Mother’s Day gifts at our church, and they can be purchased as well, for Secretary’s Week, which is April 25 through April 29.”
Another popular item is a cross made with horseshoe nails.
Some of Lindgens’ crafts were recently on display at the First National Bank of Livingston. He also does some local flea markets.
Wood ‘N’ Stuff products may also be seen and purchased at Don’s Uniques and Repairs, 112 S. 2nd Street in Greenville, which is also the home of the Owl Creek Gazette. In addition, more of his items will be on display at the Route 66 Flea Market and Car Show on May 14 at 20623 Old Routh 66 in Staunton. Private showings at Lindgens’ shop may be arranged by calling (217) 456-3130.