November 7, 2005--Posted at 7:30 a.m. CST
JONESBORO--Not many men pose this question to a grandson -- 'Would you like a cannon?' But Ray Erwin of Jonesboro has a grandson in Texas who's a big Civil War buff, and Erwin DID ask that question -- and got a positive answer. So Erwin built the boy a cannon.
Erwin has a long history of undertaking innovative projects, but his latest may top them all. He said the weapon is about three-quarter size, and its design stems from drawings of Civil War-era cannons and viewing a cannon owned by another Jonesboro man. Erwin started out with a drawing of a 12-pounder, a Heritage model 1857 he copied from a book. Then he got permission to examine a cannon owned by Herbert Parker of Jonesboro.