Sunday, January 27, 2013

Where He Kept the Hammer

"And Dad, when he would go to the blacksmith’s shop to do something down there, he’d take me and let me pull the lever and pump the (air) bubbles. It was one of those old-type ... with leather around it with a flap on it. And you’d just stand there and move the handle on it up and down, and that would pump the air that would make the coal glow in the furnace in the blacksmith’s shop.
"He’d sharpen his own plows. And Mr. John Eaves would come up there and weld the wagon wheels. You know how he welded them? He’d go out there in that red clay, out there in the back, and he’d take a fork I think something like that, and just scratch up some real fine red clay put it in a little can and set it up there on the furnace. And he’d take that big old wagon wheel put it in the fire and when it got real yellow and you’d begin to see those little sparks come from it, he’d reach over and get a handful of that clay and pour it on there and then he’d take that wagon tire, set it on the anvil and boomp boomp boomp real lightly on there, and get that thing together, and you couldn’t tell where he’d put it together. And it stayed there.
"He’d show me, let me watch, as Mr. Eaves would do that welding. And when he’d get through and the tire would get cold, Dad would get it down and take a look at it and say, 'Son, can you tell me where that tire is welded together?' And boy I’d start looking. Even though it was real blue right where the weld was. But I couldn’t see anything that would show any little crack or anything that would show where it was welded. Boy, it was just melted and run together." -- T.J. Latham
Go into the Fiery Furnace in W. Jeff Bishop's A Cold Coming -- February, 2013.

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