The Northwest Area BOA February meeting was hosted by Richard and Carol Ross. Ron Wells’ trusty GPS took us straight to the Ross home, where Richard’s nicely equipped shop was already packed with eager smiths. We smiths must be living right, because we were again graced with warm and sunny weather. Carol served a delicious and filling lunch of chili, beef soup and cornbread, with apple and razzleberry pie for dessert. YUM!
BOA members in attendance at this February 14th meeting included Dale Custer, Rob Meuser, Bob Patrick, Harold Enlow, Elmer Polston, Johnny Davis, Tammy Davis, Gary Lee, Hardy Todd, Mike Williamson, Cheryl Miskell, Clyde Foster, David Egan, Sam Hibbs, Tom Bates, Tyler Usrey, Robert Fox, Richard Ross, and Sonny Sartwell. Eddie Mullins and Dan Davis were visiting from the Northeast chapter.
Dale Custer called the meeting to order after lunch, beginning with a discussion of the iron smelt at ESSA. We had good weather during the smelt, and ESSA provided a great location and awesome support. (Peggy Kjelgaard, Executive Director, deserves a big thank you for her support!). Dale reported that although the smelt was great, the iron ore we used did not yield an appreciable or workable amount of iron. Hardy Todd can get more charcoal, and we will source better iron ore, tapping into the knowledge and expertise of our new resident metallurgist, Ross Wilkinson. Dale expects we can do another smelt in late spring or early summer. Better iron ore will smelt faster, and Dale will roast it in advance.
Robert Fox updated us on our first intern, Julio Castillo. We did have two interns, but Julio is our sole intern at present. Julio has made iron roses, and is writing a grant proposal to get a blacksmith station at the Faulkner County Museum.
T-shirt order forms will be submitted to a company in Harrison. Dale encouraged everyone to submit their t-shirt orders. Lee Burks is doing the shirts.
BOA will have a statewide conference with all chapters, possibly in July.
Ron Wells reports we have about $12,000 in the treasury. All smelt receipts need to be given to Ron.
Dale noted that BOA has a February meeting tradition of conveying the Jack Smith Award to a member chosen for their outstanding service to our organization. Past recipients include Harold Enlow, Ron Wells, and Dale Custer. This year’s recipient is Robert Fox. Congratulations to Robert! (And, a hearty thank you to Robert for ceding to the manipulative efforts of Some-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named to get him to attend the meeting!)
Dale welcomed and introduced the visitors to this meeting: Tyler Usrey, Gary Lee, Eddie Mullins (Northeast Steward), Dan Davis (new “old” member), and Elmer Polston. This meeting was Elmer’s first.
NWAC BOA Secretary