Old Friends Gather at the McWaters'

October 21, 2006

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. Psalm 18:2

The Couples Class taught by Tip and Betty Curvin at First Baptist Church Mableton had their monthly gathering at the McWaters house on Grandview Road near Jasper. They are gracious to include us, so we spent the night at Bent Tree and joined them there.

It was a treat to visit the McWaters home to see the craftmanship there. Don has fashioned iron tools for the fireplace like an early American fireplace. Not many people can fashion custom iron tools.
The early American motif was carried through the house. I liked this painted saw, partly because I used one like it a lot when I was a teenager.
This group came in and started chattering away like they were old friends. I guess that's because they are. It was even hard to get them into the food line.
Finally some of them made it in to start the nice lunch that Joyce and Don had prepared.
Still, they were subject to gathering off in twos and threes again to talk. It was really neat to see the fellowship going on.
Bill and Betty Willoughby and Ray and Genny Hembree are dear friends that we don't get to see very often since they moved away from our area. It is always great to see them.
Our connections run very deep and long with this group. Betty Willoughby taught both our boys in Sunday School when they were rowdy youngsters, and they loved her. Betty Curvin and her husband Tip teach the senior couples class, the Welcome Class, which we taught when it first started back in the 70s. Ray and Genny Hembree were in another couples class which we taught some years back, and we still get together occasionally with that group.
The ladies do tend to segregate off from us guys to talk, but that's all right. The guys are all headed out to see Don's shop.
Don is drawing out something for us on his heavy steel work table. It is probably 3/4 steel top with heavy wheels and the dozens of clamps that are characteristic of metal work.
Don has a forge for heating metal for bending and shaping on his power hammer, shown below. I believe he has a few clamps and holders here too! And a hammer or two. The forge has openings in the side so he can work on long stock by feeding it through and heating a short length of it at a time.
Don does a lot of work with this power hammer, which delivers a blow equivalent to a 50 pound sledgehammer, and can do it at a rapid rate. I had never seen one of these before.
Don explained to us the action with a common sledge (probably 8lb) and anvil, and then demonstrated the 50lb power hammer.
Don stuck a piece of oak wood into the hammer and the hammer, hitting probably twice a second with that enormous force, splintered the wood in seconds.

I really identified with the shop as the work of an enthusiastic and dedicated craftsman. Being a tool nut, I really liked seeing all the tools. I have seen a lot of his work. He even fashioned the nails and metal handholds that Jeff used when he played the role of Jesus in the Easter drama and hung on the cross.

Even more deeply we identified with these people, many of whom we have known for over thirty years. We know a good bit about their stories of dedication to the church and to their families and friends. We just don't know any better folk. So we were appreciative to Don and Joyce for including us in this occasion.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4: 11-12
Light the Nite celebration

  Nave Album Go Back