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So there was this 60 foot Black Walnut tree soon to be claimed by highway construction down in the front field of a little place in farm country.
We knew at some point the construction contractor would cut the family yard tree but no one knew exactly when.
One day I get THE phone call: the tree has been cut down.
I hurried over to the farm and discovered the worst case scenario:
The tree was severely diseased and almost completely hollow in the main trunk but even so, by the time I arrived every part had been salvaged-trunk- limbs-branches-the works- presumably for firewood-if nothing else-with the exception of one, exactly one, 3 foot long, 5 inch diameter tree limb remnant, fairly twisted with knots.
Still, it was the last piece of the yard tree so I loaded it up and carried it back to the shop.
Two years later the tree limb had not really cracked badly, so I thought maybe I could get one or two ornamental pieces from what remained.
The good news: I was able to turn this candle holder on the lathe. The bad news: it does have about a 1/8th inch crack on the backside which I closed with a patch splint.
The design is very basic for fear of losing the entire piece, but overall it is a nostalgic reminder of a once proud and productive walnut tree.
We will find a very fancy carved candle to put into this memento of the past.