SENECA — What does a carpenter do when he has free time? He works on his own home. So is true of Jimmy Fellows, Seneca, who recently has been cutting and shaping pieces of scrap granite for a wall in his home.
Actually, this job began when he bought his wife, Leah, a wood stove for her birthday.
The Fellows live in an all-electric home. But Leah wanted a wood stove installed in the back room as a stand-by for when the electricity goes off.
The stove was installed and a sheet of metal attached to the wall as a safety precaution. This tin is not very attractive, however, so the Fellows have begun building a granite wall in its place.
Fellows said the granite has three positive features: it can be attached to the wall in patterns so it is beautiful, it is fire proof, and it absorbs heat from the stove to radiate more even heat into the house.
Fellows is a 1988 graduate of Neosho High School, where he excelled in the Junior U.S. Air Force ROTC program.
Eventually, after graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served four years. He was a heavy equipment operator in the service and spent time in the Far East. While in the military he began learning the carpentry trade.
After he was discharged from the Air Force, he began working with a longtime Seneca carpenter, Steve Millard, and learned more skills on the job, under the master's watchful eye.
Now Fellows will tackle any job that involves building a home. He also does remodeling and repair work. He laughed when he told that his last two jobs had been unplugging sewer pipes.
"Neither one of them were mine though. I did my own plumbing in this house," he said with a smile.
Making a granite wall is not a task Fellows expects to accomplish in a day. He currently is cutting the stone pieces to make the pattern he will have on the wall.
"It's an ongoing project," he said.
Leah just smiled as he showed the pattern with some stones on the ground. She knew her husband was working on a "Honey Do" for her and finishing her birthday wish.
If the electricity goes off this winter, the Fellows family will be warm and snug in their home with wood heat for a backup and a beautiful granite wall, too.