Archive for April, 2010

The Modest Adventures of a Prized Hammer

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


A few years ago Lee Hayes and Pete Seeger wrote a melody and lyrics to a song that swept across this land of America over night:


If I had a hammer

I would hammer in the morning

I would hammer in the evening

All over this land.


I don’t think Paul Curtis and Richard Ware are going to write another song, but they just might inspire some men and women half way around the world with a modest carpenter’s hammer.


The story begins in the early years of the 1920’s.  Richard Wear’s uncle, Roy Wear of Burnet, built a house in this community.  Roy Wear had a neat habit of leaving a note, memento, or old tool hidden in the walls of the homes he built.  The owner of the homes rarely, if ever, saw them.  But carpenters remodeling the homes years later would come across the hidden “treasures.”   In 1986 Richard Wear was remodeling the home that his uncle Roy had built years ago.  There hidden in a partition wall was an old hammerhead.  The head had no handle.  The tool was rusted and pitted and had been discarded before Roy hid it in the wall of the house.  Kind of a mute note, left for a future carpenter to find and say, “I built this.”  Richard showed his good friend, Odis Buck the old hammerhead he had found.  Mr. Buck asked Richard’s permission to make a new handle for the old hammer.  He carefully whittled a handle from a piece of hard wood from an abandoned wagon wheel, fitted it to the head and returned it to Richard.  Richard has used it some, but realized what a treasure the tool was, put it away for safekeeping.


Paul Curtis, working with a group from First Baptist Church of Georgetown, is going to the Ukraine in just a few weeks.  There in the city of Kiev, they will help the local members of a church remodel their building.  They plan to work in Kiev for two weeks, and then return home, a worn, ragged group of men.  But before they leave Paul will present, as a token of love and respect, Richard’s hammer.  Paul will share with the Ukraines the history of the hammer with the hope it will be a memento of good will and encouragement for future building projects.  The handle is labeled, “Richard Wear, Liberty Hill, Texas, 2010 AD.


Richard’s generosity of giving a treasured carpenters tool, and Paul’s hard work may inspire a young Ukrainian to write a great song…or build a better home.