CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - 71 year old Jim Johnson is a carpentar by trade. Working with wood ever since he was boy, now Jim is building houses around Region 8 and has been for more than 40 years, "...back when Santa Claus didn't come, we made our own toys." says Jim.
But when Jim's not building houses with wood, he's creating wooden things to go inside them. Jim, "I can pick up a piece of wood and know...the Lord put it in my head. I can see it before I build it." And what he sees is almost beyond imagination, "Everything is solid wood, you could park a car on it. I get these things out of my own mind, head toward that way."
That's why Jim spends almost every waking hour, on the job or at home, cutting through the sawdust and sliding the sander for just the right smooth. He adds, "I call it piddlin. That's the way I want to do it. One table got 17 different kids of wood. It's fascinating. Good to kill time to do what you want to do."
You might say Jim Johnson is a wood working wonder. And sometimes Jim wonders why he's so smitten with wood, "I don't know. It's just a past time. Come in tired and wore out...relaxes you and makes you feel easier...not doing anything...do what I want to do." But no matter. It's obvious Jim's wooden wonders are absolutely wonderful. Jim thinks, "I don't feel like this is working with wood. Make up things to satisfy my own mind."