“We sit, we carve, we drink coffee and we tell lies,” he said with a laugh. “It works. Coffee costs 50 cents a cup or a dollar all night, and just about everybody puts a dollar in and drinks coffee till their eyes float. The good thing is we have a lot of restrooms.”
Cash said it’s usually a ruckus when members get together for the weekly carving sessions, special seminars or annual carving competitions and auctions the group puts on throughout the year.
Although members like to have fun, he said the aim of the club never changes: promote and pass on the art of wood sculpting.
Cash said that was the initial goal 25 years ago when he started the group with two other Boy Scout leaders. He said he also wanted to get around other woodcarvers so he could hone his craft.
“I loved the art of it,” he said. “I loved that you can take something that God already created — the wood — and turn around and change it into another creation.”
But it ended up being more than that for Cash. He said woodcarving has worked as a kind of therapy over the years, helping him deal with the post-traumatic stress he developed after serving in the Army from 1966 to 1969 in Vietnam.
Cash said he remembers dreaming once of a solider sitting on a rock holding his bowed head in one hand and a rifle in the other.
“I didn’t know whether he was praying or crying,” he said. “It bothered me. I took that image and started carving it in wood. It was like a subconscious thing. I took it from my mind and put the carving on the shelf, and it was like taking that dream and getting rid of it. It worked for me.”