Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Worth Something Someday

John Stearns
1932 - 1996

Ideas for projects swirled in John's head, and he often sketched those ideas on a scrap of paper. John, my oldest brother was an accomplished welder and used his skill to construct many things - signs, corrals, drilling rigs, water diversions, flag poles, barbecue grills, bridges - whatever someone wanted built.

John works on a water diversion near 
Bull Mountain, south of Laramie, WY

Dwight (a nephew) positions a pipe for John to weld.

In addition to welding, John was also a master mechanic. He rebuilt engines and repaired equipment, often using recycled parts. If something was broken, he could repair it.


This charcoal, barbecue grill on my sister's patio was designed and constructed by John. When it is in use, smoke comes out of the smoke stack.

He also designed and built a charcoal grill shaped like an old tractor.

I think John saw potential in every piece of metal despite its condition. 

He often hauled junked cars out to the farm and lined them up around the shop. Frequently, mom asked him what he was going to do with them, and his reply was always, "They'll be worth something someday."

Eventually, the junked cars became a source of parts for John's projects, so they were, indeed, "worth something someday."


12 comments:

  1. Wow I love that BBQ What talent!!

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  2. Little misty here... your John reminds me a lot of our Red, my step-nephew's grandfather. Red was also an accomplished welder and just plain brilliant. Maybe they're having a scrap-weld-off in the great welding spot in the sky...

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  3. A lot of creative thought went into the design of that grill. Love it!

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  4. I totally understand! I live amongst my hubbie's "Innovation Pile"... an assorment of metal, wood, and various materials others would probably label as "junk". Although he is not an "accomplished" welder and carpenter, he does a very good job of coming up with unusual uses for his treasured materials.

    LOVE the train BBQ!

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  5. I love it when we all share our family history. John was a true artist! I've always said my Dad was an artist. He was a Master ship builder and sheet metal worker in the Norfolk, VA shipyard. As such he did much of the sheet metal welding on the U.S.S. Arizona and the U.S.S. Ticonderoga. There are heroes in our past and John is among them!

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  6. Nancy,

    Was John your husband?

    What a talented man!!!

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  7. I HAD TO MAKE TIME TO COMMENT THIS TIME NANCY. I SO LOVE THE TRAIN GRILL. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS POST WITH US.

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  8. What a great job you are doing with your family stories. As usual I am several posts behind. Please add your relationships to these great guys. I was saddened to realize they died so young. It was great to realize that irrigation can be done without using lots of "things" and electricity. Thanks so much for sharing. BTW -- love the new sock yarn you got in the swap.

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  9. Isn't it something how one person can look at something and see junk and another possibility.....Like everyone else the grill is amazing.
    Am sure you miss him.

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  10. amazing. Your brother had great talent and vision

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  11. Oh my goodness that makes me think how much you must miss your brothers. John must have been a very talented artist/welder. We have been blessed with good brothers. Thanks for sharing.
    Rebel Follower

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  12. Love that grill! He was obviously a man with a vision and very talented:)

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