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Georgia On My Mind Again, Part 12

Alas, we come to the last of the photographs from my September trip to Georgia. Here, Danny is still keeping his fingers in the sign business making vinyl signs such as this one he fabricated for their daughter-in-law who was about to open a dance studio. Good work, n'est-pas?

Janie and Danny make trips to Florida several times a year to visit family and he often stops by to see his old partner at Feldman Signs. From time to time, Mark has old channel letters from companies that have gone out of business, changed their name or just updated their signs. Danny buys this "junk" for a couple dollars a letter and Dave is just happy to free up shop space. Danny brings them back to Georgia where he may clean them up a bit then he sells them to antique shops and flea market vendors for perhaps $10 a letter. Those retail folks then charge $25 to $100 a letter. Who knew this junk could be this profitable?

This is cool — an old neon Budweiser sign. I recall Danny saying that he got this from an old bar and it was not really in working order. Since he worked with these signs professionally, he knew how to refurbish it and got it running almost as good as new. Now he faces the decision of whether to keep it or sell it.

Here is something new (to the shop), something old (a working antique) — a Silver Power Band Saw. If I recall correctly, Danny got this for free (or almost free). After installing a new motor and a bit of clean up and he has one fantastic tool.

Searching the Internet, Danny found a old advertisement for the same band saw he had just acquired. I love the pricing — $130 for the saw, $2 or $2.30 for the blade. Of course, those are not today's dollars. A quick search online and the cost of a comparible new model today would be something like $17,000.

Another new piece of shop equipment, a huge table saw with attached tables. As a former woodworker this makes me drool — I never had the room in my garage shop — much less a cheap way to acquire such a setup.

Now I did have a very good shop vacuum system. But with the size of these tools, you need something even bigger.

Iron Man? Godzilla? Nope, just Danny with his welding mask — wondering if it could have been used to view the elipse. The verdict was "no" — welding only.

Here is Danny's new shaving horse. During a previous trip, we visited a pioneer farm and they had one of these gadgets on display. The horse allows you, with just the pressure of your foot, to clamp down a piece of wood that you are working on.

The tool that he is holding is called a drawknife. It has a long, sharp blade that you pull towards yourself (carefully) using the handles on both ends, saving away slices of wood to achieve the desired shape. Sometimes, the old ways are the best.

Another new toy. Useful, but still a toy. This part of Georgia was logged of its old-growth timber years ago however, the logging roads remain. Many times following these "roads" is the easiest way to visit your neighbors. It's also the most fun. Yes, it has practical uses around the homestead (which is how we justify such purchases) but it's really for the fun of getting around with no traffic to contend with.

And every time that Danny starts up the John Deer Gator, this little Jack Russell Terrier (whose name is "Jack", naturally) comes running and wants to be part of the fun. He loves to run circles around the Gator forcing Danny to be quite careful to avoid running over the little guy.

Last photo for this trip. Every time I come to Georgia, I also try to schedule a get-together with Kona's daughter (my step-daughter) and her family who live just outside Atlanta. We normally meet half way, in Dahlonega, this time at a nice Mexican restaurant — Pueblos Mexican Cuisine. Left to right, Jake, Jiyoung, Jullian and Brad. We always have a great time dining and catching up. I just wish that Kona were still here to see what fine grandchildren are carrying her genes.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com