I told him that when I was at the Chimneyville Crafts Fair in Jackson, Mississippi in December, I had asked a Mississippi craftsman to make one for me. That one had a larger surface area but the handle had a pointed tip and over time, really hurt my hand.
Bear came to the rescue and made me a gorgeous honey crusher. He hand-turned it out of southern pecan - more fitting than he knew because the southern pecan has had quite a role in my life. My parents lived on land with giant southern pecan trees. I remember feeling frightened as I watched the tall trees bend and parts of them break off in the hurricanes that came up the river from New Orleans to my hometown of Natchez.
Then when I was a senior, I asked my father if I could buy a class ring. He said a class ring was a complete waste of money and if I wanted one, I'd have to earn the $50 that it cost by myself. So I picked up pecans under those trees on our land and sold them to a pecan packing plant. I quickly learned that I could make more money if I sold them shelled, so I became an expert at getting the shells and the bitter interior lining off of the meat of the pecan. I earned my $50 and got my class ring - and as my father predicted - never wore it.
So southern pecan is a part of my history and actually represents hard work to me, so it is fitting that Bear's honey crusher is made of pecan and I will be using it to work to get the honey out of the honey comb.
Before he gave it to me, he entered it in a honey contest where he won a blue ribbon for his efforts.
After the contest, he branded it with his name Bear in the top of the handle.
Thanks, Bear - I'm SO EXCITED to have this lovely piece and to get to use it.