Monday, September 5, 2016

Not to beat a dead horse but....

...many of you have asked how I'm doing so....I feel like an old, old man who has been run over by a bus, then left out like roadkill on a West Texas blacktop in the middle of August. In other words, I'm feeling much better. I still haven't gotten all the test results back and I have an appointment with the infectious disease doctor on Wednesday. Maybe then I can end my self-imposed quarantine. Thank you all for your concern.

I am writing a story right now about my sole surviving uncle. Uncle Bill is 96 years old. He lives on his own in the same house he's owned for over 60 years. His five sons, all retired, take turns spending the days with Bill. He is nearly deaf and legally blind yet he still spends six out of every seven mornings each week working in his wood shop from 6:30 until noon. He builds furniture....beautiful furniture. It has gotten to where he has to do the finish work by feel. Right now he is building footstools that are his unique design. He mass produces them twenty-five at a time and is nearing six hundred in number. He originally made a stool for every family member, signed and numbered. That was a feat in itself. I can't count all the family members. He not only can count them but he remembers their names. Each stool is signed. Mine has this written on the underside:

#146    12-10-2010
To: Russell Mihills
From: Bill Hallmark who was born in Burnet County, Texas 11-9-1919

Debbie's is the same except hers is #142. He always liked her better!

Bill has made custom cabinets, china hutches, hope chests, tables...the list goes on an on. He has even made his own casket. Its a work of art. It will be a shame to put it in the ground someday. Because of his failing eyesight he pretty much sticks to the footstools and hope chests now. He doesn't sell his creations. He gives them away! He gives the stools and chests to the Cherokee Children's Home. They auction them off for fund raising.

This isn't the story by the way. I have some colorful adventures to tell but I'm waiting to complete Bill's story until I can get down to Llano and hear about the past from him. Everything I know so far came from my mom's own storytelling and she seemed to add to her stories every time she told them...must be where I get it. Keep watching and I hope to have the story posted within the next three weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


  1. #491 is lovingly known as our timeout stool.

  2. #135 and 136 are ours and X loves to use one in the bathroom for hand washing and brushing teeth

  3. Hi Russell I'm following your blog,this is Kim,Mary Waynes oldest daughter,I am looking forward to more stories,and I have one of Uncle Bills hope chest that he signed,I love it. I love your writing.

  4. You have all been so blessed by what Bill made especially for each of you. Get as many stories as you can from him directly, and take notes so you don't forget any of them. Don't wait too long to get to Llano though.