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Monday
December 09th, 2019

barry graham walking stickBarry Graham holds one of his walking sticks made with the shape of a skull. Courtesy photoROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

One of 2018’s newcomers is back for this year’s Folk Art Festival Saturday and Sunday at the Seward County Activity Center, and coordinator Ada Linenbroker said she is excited to see the return of Barry and Nita Graham.

“Last year was the Grahams’ first year to attend the festival, and we are glad to see they will be returning this year with new items and several new styles of walking sticks and canes,” she said.

Barry worked as a purchasing manager for National Beef and retired in 2017. He had been collecting walking sticks his whole life and decided to try making some himself. Barry converted his garage into a work shop, and with Cedar wood he brought from Oklahoma, he started with simple walking stick.

“Then he got creative and started carving skulls, eagles and duck heads on the tops of his sticks and canes,” Linenbroker said. “He’s found since retiring, carving is a way to relax and spend his days. He starts after breakfast then stops and takes a break in the afternoon to have lunch and then may carve again until 6 or 7 in the evening.”

Over the past two years, Barry has given away more than 100 walking sticks and canes to friends, co-workers and family.

“While watching a YouTube video, he got inspired for this year’s new walking stick design,” Linenbroker said. “While talking to him recently, I got to see two of his new designs. His design has a large rattlesnake curving around the stick. Barry told me he can spend up to four weeks carving this new design.”

The Grahams will also be selling a new item, a dustpan made from wood and old license plates.

“Be sure to stop by the Grahams’ booth and check out his large selection of walking canes at this year’s Folk Art Festival,” Linenbroker said.

The festival runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Seward County Activity Center.

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