October 2014 Central Chapter BOA Meeting

The October meeting of the Central Arkansas Chapter of the Blacksmith Organization of Arkansas (CACBOA) met on Saturday, October 18th at the forge of Thurston Fox in Mayflower, Arkansas.

It was a beautiful day for a meeting. We spent the morning forging pumpkin-carving tools. Some were more ornate, with twists and such, while others, shall we say, favored function over form. After lunch we had a pumpkin carving contest that was quite entertaining! The results were very serviceable jack-o-lanterns. Herman Ginger finished first by about two seconds, but was penalized for insufficient removal of innards. The contest was then awarded to Tim Huddleston, who had the cleanest, most classic-designed pumpkin, perfectly executed.

The trade item this month, in keeping with the season, was “your preferred weapon for the zombie apocalypse.” I think it’s fair to say that Larry Layne had, by far, the best entry with a four-foot long wicked-looking weapon resembling a pole-axe out of “Mad Max.” Very dystopian!

The culmination of the event was the testing of the zombie weapons on the carved pumpkins. Larry’s beast destroyed his pumpkin. I think Larry could start a new career catering to the home-defense market. Even the chickens enjoyed the festivities, feasting on pumpkin rind. Thurston’s eggs are going to taste like pumpkin for weeks!

At the business meeting, Dale gave us an update on the iron smelt preparations, and on the ordering of a printer for the newsletter.

At the business meeting, Dale gave us an update on the iron smelt preparations, and on the ordering of a printer for the newsletter.

Scooter Layne suggested we look into liability insurance. The reenactment group she and Larry participate in have some, and she say’s it is very reasonable. Larry is the demonstrating blacksmith at the Grant County Museum in Sheridan, and has taken several classes on public demonstrations. He says that ALL of his instructors and his personal experience suggest that insurance is necessary.

Finally, Dale presented me (Robert) with a wonderful gift from the BOA members. See the Letter From the Editor in this month’s newsletter for details on the gift and my response. ( Letter is shown below )

October 2014 Letter from the editor:

When Mike Williamson handed me the reins for editing the newsletter, I struggled to meet the first few print deadlines. Because I was running late, I used the only print shop which was open on the weekend, which resulted in a particularly large cost.

Because this cost was my own fault, I felt it was not right to ask Ron to reimburse me from the BOA treasury—a decision Ron did not agree with at all. We have since solved the problem by ordering a BOA printer, but Ron still felt that I needed recompense.

So when Ron brought it up a business meeting a motion was made and passed for BOA to give me a gift—a beautiful set of six assorted Bob-Patrick original tongs! I was stunned. The gift is perfect, and sorely needed in my forge. But the value of the gift goes far beyond any expenses I incurred.

They are so nice that I put pictures on the last page of the newsletter in the Member’s Showcase. Coming from Bob Patrick, it should come as no surprise that the tongs are such works of art! I was torn between wanting to use them and wanting to mount them on the wall. The decision was made in about ten minutes—I abandoned the members to their own devices and made a present for my daughter, who is away at school in England.

Thank you all so very, very much. If we hadn’t already ordered the printer, I would gladly continue to make this kind of a deal every year! And I’m buying a big lock for my tool locker!


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