Terry Dickson: Volunteer ‘cuts’ losses from Hurricane Matthew

BRUNSWICK, GA. | For those who reside in coastal Georgia and Florida, you’ve in all probability seen huge vans roll by way of your neighborhood and decide up the piles of as soon as stately timber that Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma became particles.

These timber that when offered nesting locations for songbirds, hangers for Spanish moss, shade and meals for squirrels have principally been floor to mountains of mulch. However a few of Matthew’s wrack and break continues to be lovely, or no less than one thing helpful, because of the work of a volunteer.

Blair and Suzette Brumbaugh tow their fifth-wheel camper down from York, Pa., annually to hitch two different couples as campground hosts on the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Website north of Brunswick. Hosts are volunteers who work the counter and do different chores across the customer middle, do some portray, landscaping and, within the case of Hofwyl, some restoration work.

“We’re right here 4 months out of the yr. Perhaps,” Blair Brumbaugh stated.

In previous years, they cut up time between Hofwyl and Magnolia Springs State Park close to Millen. That is the primary yr they’ll spend the winter at Hofwyl, he stated.

They got here down in 2016 and once they went house earlier this yr, Brumbaugh loaded up a few of items of the purple cedar, pine and stay oak that Matthew had pushed down that might have in any other case gone onto a burn pile.

When the Brumbaughs got here again for his or her winter stint, they introduced chopping boards, footstools, trivets and different “Hofwyl wooden” items he had labored on again residence. There are additionally some lengthy shaved sticks. Whether or not they’re strolling sticks or mountaineering sticks in all probability is determined by how a lot the consumer paid for footwear.

Most of it, particularly the strolling/climbing sticks, is on sale within the customer middle however the Brumbaughs have an oak and pine desk of their camper and their neighbor volunteers have a purple cedar desk that appears to glow like a subdued model of ET’s coronary heart.

Requested why he does it, Brumbaugh, who bought his auto storage and retired when he was in his late 50s, shrugged and stated merely, “One thing to maintain me occupied.”

He had some expertise having made lots of furnishings, bed room and front room suites, wall closets, hutches, tables and the like. That each one required chopping wooden into exact rectangles, often alongside the grain, with laser-straight surfaces.

That modified, he stated, when a neighbor down the road in Troy “received me into freestyle.”

So what does freestyle…

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