Crafting a place and name for himself

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 5, 2009

Glen Kendrick of Chelsea said he likes to tell people he replaced Elvis in Friedberg, Germany where they were both in the army’s Third Armored Division.

He’s only kidding, of course, but Elvis did ship out a few weeks after Kendrick arrived there, he said.

“Actually, I never saw Elvis,” said Kendrick. “He was in tanks and I was in Howitzers. And he lived off post.”

Kendrick’s wife Crickett (Coy) joined her husband in Germany around the time Elvis left. But both heard a lot of tales about the singer/actor/heartthrob while they were over there. One of the tales that stuck with them was the time Elvis was given grass-cutting duty. Instead of using the post’s old push mower, Elvis went out and bought a riding mower.

After the Kendricks returned to the states and set up housekeeping in Chelsea, Kendrick became known as the “Wan Bon man“ to his gas customers. After his retirement, people came to know him as the man at K-Springs who makes the neat cement tables, benches and urns.

Now, he’s fast becoming known as the birdhouse man.

“It was getting hard for me to handle those heavy cement things,” said Kendrick. So he turned to woodworking.

He now builds wooden tables, chairs, swings, trellises and other items for lawns and gardens.

“And I once built a swing bed for a lady who wanted one like she’d had in Florida,” he said.

But, what keeps him busiest now is building birdhouses. He’s presently working on a special order for a two-story, 16-hole birdhouse, which looks much like a small hotel.

His most popular house is the small replica of the historic Weldon Store (“Valaree’s” store as old-timers knew it), which stands at the intersection of Highways 39 and 47.

Kendrick lives on land, which was settled by his ancestors around 140 years ago, where he enjoys working in his woodwork shop and swapping tales about the olden days. His children and grandchildren, who also live on the old homeplace, keep him up on what’s going on with the now generation, too.