VanDyk Mortgage - September 2017

Sept 2017

Letters From The Hart Give us a call! 239-437-4278 or visit Corporate NMLS #3035

A GRANDDAD of All Trades

natural detritus into intricately constructed frames. After a few

I was always in awe of my Granddaddy — yes, that’s what I called him. I’m sure that anybody who knew him thought the same, with his seemingly endless library of knowledge and trivia, his knack for artistic creation and expression, and his skill at a staggering number of hobbies.

years, he had almost 20 of these awesome creations around his house — one of them hangs in my office to this day. The local paper did a write-up on him once, talking about his status as not only a “first-class local historian,” but a “skilled artist.” He definitely was both of those things. One memory of him that always makes me laugh was when, relatively late in his life, he decided that he was going to try to sell his bark art. He set up a display out on his driveway, put up a couple of signs on the street, and waited. People came by, thinking it was a garage sale, until they noticed the 500-dollar price tag on a few of the pieces. “Well, what were you thinking I was gonna sell them for?” He told me. Each art piece would take him weeks and sometimes months, and he was determined to get his hourly rate out of them. None of them sold from his driveway, even though they are definitely the real deal. He later sold some of his “bark art” in a local gallery.

Ever since I was about 6 years old, Granddaddy and Grandma lived right across the street from us. My brother and I were always more than welcome in their home, and we loved visiting them as often as possible. The tubby kid that I was, I used to eat dinner with my family at our house and then waddle over to my grandparents’ place to see what they were cooking, and vice versa. With all the time we spent with them, we grew very close. I was always amazed at the number of things Granddaddy was talented at. When he wasn’t outside in his khaki pants and old, beat-up cowboy hat tending to his enormous garden, he’d work for hours in his garage, which he’d converted into a combination art studio-storage space. It was his workshop where he created toy guns and puppets for us out of wood. He even built us a massive playhouse that we spent a lot of time in as kids. But Granddaddy developed a passion for his unique creation that he called “bark art,” insanely complicated reliefs he’d fashion out of dozens of types of bark and other plants. He thought of the style after getting in a work accident while working as a stone mason, putting him out of a job. Sitting around was driving him crazy, so he began to apply his artistic skills, spending over a hundred hours per piece, carefully inlaying bark and other

Though I didn’t inherit an ounce of his artistic ability, I like to think some of his creativity lives on in me. My family was so blessed to live right across from him and my grandma. There was just nobody else like them.

– Tim Hart NMLS #354676

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