The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.Isaiah 44:13
Like I said, I never knew my Great Grandmother, but I know someone who did. I knew my Grandfather, but not my Great Grandfather. Fortunately, I know someone who did.
Dad's side of the family didn't come from money. While Mom was a (pretty glamorous) city girl, dad's stock was pretty firmly rural, and not very well off. What this meant was that they could work with their hands, especially his grandfather.
This table was in our house when I was growing up, and is in Mom and Dad's house today. Dad's Grandfather made it. Dad wrote up the story for #1 Son and #2 Son, when they were younger:
Your Great-Great Grandfather had a farm near Longton Kansas. It was not a very good farm; it was at the very western edge of fertile land in Kansas. But it had one thing that was really good - Black Walnut trees. Your Great-Great Grandfather made a table from his very own walnut trees. That table is still in the family.Out of the crooked timber that is man, nothing straight was ever built. And so with tables, too. But a man who is skilled, who spends his time for those he loves, who builds from the heart - that man will leave something beautiful behind.
To make a Black Walnut table Grandfather first needed boards. He found them already being used as parts of the doors of the house. Those doors had been made for the house when it was built in the 1870s, and they had been made from Black Walnut trees from the farm itself. In other words the house builder had cut down Black Walnut trees, took them to the local sawmill, and had the trees sawed into boards. Then, the boards had been made into doors.
So, Grandfather took down the doors and used them as boards for the table. The door boards were painted green. If you look very carefully underneath the boards of the Black Walnut table, you will find little spots of green paint from the 1870s.
The big problem was that Grandfather needed to find Black Walnut for the table legs. They could not be made out of the old door boards, because he wanted legs that would be about four inches by four inches. What he had to do was to cut down another Black Walnut tree on the farm. He did that. Then, instead of taking the log to the sawmill, he decided to split it himself with an ax. Of course, he intended to have straight legs for his table. But when he split the log, the log did not split straight. Instead, it split in a curve. Grandfather was so mad.
When he got over his mad, he looked at the curved split log more carefully. Wait a minute, he thought, I could make that table with curved legs instead of straight ones. And that is what he did. So, now the Borepatch family has a Black Walnut library table with curved legs. We do not know when your Great-Great Grandfather made that table, but it must have been over a hundred years ago.
It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.- Unknown