Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz

BARREL JOHNSONBARREL JOHNSONThe year was 1992 that this carving of a cowboy was carved.  He represents the beginning of a series of carvings named “Whittle Folk ‘Pokes” that began in 1996 and were carved until 2003 and just recently four more ‘Pokes were carved as a commission for an old time carving friend from Texarkana, Arkansas.  “Barrel Johnson,” as he was called because he was so bow legged a barrel could be rolled between his legs, returned home as a Father’s Day gift from my wife. 

For many years “Barrel Johnson” lived with a  gracious widow lady who lived just a few days shy of her one hundredth birthday.  At her estate auction my wife purchased “Barrel Johnson” through a “secret agent” to maintain a conspiracy of secrecy to create a surprise on Father’s Day which succeeded.

After all these years of being on another “ranch”  the old timer is back home in the Wood Bee Carver’s bunk house.  He still does not say much since he lives by the old cowboy code: “Blessed is the cowboy who can not be persuaded to say anything.”  He is definitely the “silent type,” which is not all that bad because “After all is said and done, more is said than done.”  Barrel Johnson is one whose “actions speak louder than words,” and he “says all that needs to be said by the way he lives.”  He did tell me however, “I have been bent a few times but never have I been broke.”

The four Whittle Folk ‘Pokes pictured below were done as a commission for long time carving friend Owen Knight from Texarkana, AR.  He was a student in one of my classes at War Eagle Seminars around 1997 or 1998 when Whittle Folk ‘Pokes were one of the carving subjects.


Whittle Folk “Pokes are carved out of three quarter of an inch square by four inch tall blank of basswood.  Each is outfitted typical western wear and gear and cast a pose of distant thinkers with hearts longing for the wide open spaces.


This entry was posted on Sunday, June 15th, 2008 at 6:54 pm and is filed under BEE Buzz. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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