Santa could shop there

Mike Ledgerwood of Canyon City carves wooden toys and he put them on display Nov. 13 at the holiday bazaar inside the Grange Hall in Mt. Vernon. The Eagle/Scott Mallory

MT. VERNON - It was a chance to get someone a handmade gift for Christmas and have a piece of homemade pie, too, and maybe walk out with a bottle of berry wine in a new leather purse.

And, maybe, if you were the right sort of person, you'd have flys for fishing dangling as earrings from your ears, a nylon pot scrubber in your bag and a miniature rocking horse under your arm.

At the annual Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 13 and 14 inside the Grange Hall, a virtual Santa's bag of gifts and goodies could be had at prices that wouldn't put too much of a dent in a person's holiday budget.

There was Mike Ledgerwood selling wooden toys he carved himself - except for the wheels, which he bought premade - for as little as $6, including tanks, planes, helicopters and flying saucers.

The most expensive item on Ledgerwood's table was a large logging truck, which had a $35 price tag on it, which didn't stop at least one customer, who handed Ledgerwwod a check.

"They're no good if they don't sell," Ledgerwood said.

Ledgerwood's late father, Thom, used to do a lot of woodworking, and the son started from him.

The first thing the younger Ledgerwood carved was a big log truck, about 30 years ago, when he was 20-years-old.

He works mostly in pine, a little fir, with "this and that mixed in" at his home in Canyon City, he said.

A retired policeman, who spent most of his career in Enterprise, but the last few years in John Day, Ledgerwood was born and raised in Prairie City.

"I went to Grant Union," he said.

Norma Rynearson learned how to embroider before she started school. She's been knitting for 40 years, and for 17 of that, she taught the craft to 4-H members.

"Never sit down that I don't pick it up, it seems," Rynearson said. "Keeps my hands busy, but I'm not sure if it keeps me out of trouble or gets me in trouble."

She displayed several kinds of handcrafted items, including colorful towels, pot holders, pillows, necklaces, dresses and baby blankets, and at that moment she was working on a nylon pot scrubber.

"They're my most popular, by far," she said. "People seem to love them."

Kelly Olson - "Kelly in the deli" at Chester's Thirftway in John Day - was there, showing her KellyFlys, earrings made from fishing flys, and clear spheres that inside dangling was a KellyFly to adorn a Christmas tree.

"Making them makes me feel like I've accomplished something," Olson said. "When I see the finished product, it makes me feel giddy to look at it."

Olson's husband, Bobby, makes custom fishing rods; so fishing themes apparently run in the family.

Holiday talents and deals aplenty were running through the Grange Hall, including some wooden horses that could rock a Christmas basket or two.

When the horses are moved, their legs rock against the frame, making a sound similar to a galloping horse.

Carol Chiles and Richard Patt of Tin Man Creations were showing miniature rocking horses, which may turn out to be the main item in their stable.

"I think rocking horses are what we're going to specialize in," Chiles said.

"Big enough for me?" asked an oversized adult visitor to their table.

"Well, mostly for children, but we might do one for adults just for a joke," Patt said.

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