several years ago, back when my grandpa was in relatively good health, my uncle dan wanted to log part of his property so that he could build a barn. uncle dan enlisted the help of his two brothers and his father to get the job done. i can just imagine the three brothers and their dad all together. grandpa in his finest i-know-how-to-do-this-so-listen-to-me-boys mood and the boys anxious to spend the day with their dad. apparently they spent the day doing back breaking work and cleared the area just like uncle dan wanted.
during the course of their logging, they came upon a walnut tree. my grandpa was a furniture maker and his favorite wood to work with was walnut. so they saved this tree and had it processed (or whatever it is you have to do to make trees into lumber to use) and gave it all to my grandpa. i'm sure he used it to make beautiful furniture for his sweetheart (i can't verify this, but that's what i like to think happened to that wood) a couple years after my grandpa passed away my uncle dan came to my dad with a piece of walnut and explained that it was from the tree that they had logged with grandpa. dad gladly accepted it and put it away for something special.
well, silas entered the picture and dad started thinking about what he could get his first grandson for christmas. he couldn't think of anything that screamed 'special' and was getting a bit upset about it. he happened upon the walnut panel in his shop and decided he would make something for silas. so with a nod to his dad, who made very similar stools for his grandchildren many years ago, he made this stool for silas. a gift from him and his dad.
but that's not the end of the story. dad did not have the tools, nor talent (maybe?) to do the writing on the stool. he wanted to put silas's name and the date on it, but didn't have a way to do it. so he and my mom took a trip to the smokey mountains and found a wood carver. the carver didn't really want to do the carving since walnut was such a hard wood. he was afraid he would mess it up. dad assured him that if he did mess it up it wouldn't be that big of a deal, even though dad was praying that this man wouldn't ruin his special piece of wood. the carver finally agreed and did a wonderful job!
when he was done the carver was pleased with how it turned out. dad then proceeded to tell him how special the wood was and how it came to be so special and what it was for. the carver refused payment and just asked that when the story of this stool was told that he got added to the story.
that is the story. i may not have written it in the most interesting, readable fashion but there it is. mostly for my memory and for silas. if you enjoyed it, then it's just icing on the cake!