Poor Man's Got Poor Ways

My neighbor, cousin, now gone, used to have this saying: a poor man’s got poor ways. Henry was a short and stout as a fire hydrant man of many talents, arms like Popeye, quick to smile, although a crooked one. His mother and my grandfather were sister/brother. He never cussed and rarely chastised, loved his family. Wanda, his lovely wife, loved and still adores Elvis…don’t say nothn’ bad about Elvis by golly.

He was a great mechanic and never possessed over 2 cranking batteries at one time. They got pulled in and out of the Massey Ferguson with the crumpled cowling, into the two 1 ton trucks, and maybe into one of the two Simcas so we could drive to Charlotte Park Center in the cold winter Monday nights to watch pro wrestling…Henry took his wrestling seriously. He got right up on the famous promoter/announcer Big Bill Ward to give him the business, ahh the days of Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen wrestling.

He was the youngest of the children, and was the mountain rule, he inherited the home place. We logged and milled many a black gum and burr oak cross tie on that old circle saw mill, didn’t bring enough to pay the fuel bill, haha.

Henry’s and Wanda’s place was at the north bottom side of Moore Mtn, just below the very old old top ridge family orchard known as Dark Hollow.

I watch it every day driving home to see any sunlight in that dimple of shade up on the mountain next to Star Rock. It never happens, but that hole has the best spring running at 2000ft busting right out of the rock. That’s where I used to get my Brushy Mtn Limbertwig wood.

Well back to the story…I learned to graft with Henry and his brother Clifton, that’s before Clifton got to spend some free time in the old hoosegow. Instead of fancy products, we used masking tape to secure our scion wood cleft grafts, and here’s one for you…toilet wax ring as a sealer on the tips and graft union.

I’m never without a spare toilet ring.


That was a strategy a few people mentioned a few years ago. Apparently within the last 5-10 years, the composition of toilet bowl wax rings has changed and some of them have components which may actually damage the graft unions.

It appears to me that the general issue is that newer formulations use more petroleum based products, whereas it used to contain more beeswax (which works great mixed with some other stuff).

Modeling clay seems to perform a similar duty without petroleum products damaging the wood.

I switched to grafting wax this season, but still keep a couple rings under the cabinet, just in case of a heavy sitter.

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I gave a like for your writing style.


Ryan and Rick, ya’ll might want to wipe the wax off those scions I mailed. But that’s an old ring, I never return any plumbing fitting, just in case.


Hey James

Will do. I been using a mixture of 50% Gulf Wax from Walmart and 50% beeswax from Amazon with good results. An electric hotplate and double boiler from a second hand store to melt the wax and I’m good to go.

If it’s just the tips, it shouldn’t be a problem. It just seems like it does damage to the bark if it sits long term.

This setup has proven successful over the long run for some members.

Good Morning Ryan,

I did only the tips for shipping, assume the 6 packs of wood have made it to you? I sent those USPS Priority to you and Richard. Please advise. And young gentleman, what is your pawpaw site mentioned in a previous post?

I have the parafilm and don’t ever cover/paste the buds. Off to the barn on a gray rainy day.

Very Best!

We had a wonderful company here on the Brushies, Brushy Mtn Bee Farm. Steve and Sandy sold a few years ago to a conglomerate in PA and CA. It was one of those BE DAMNED holding companies.

They took the cash, sold the factory equipment, put 40+ good local folks out of work and went dark. Only took less than a year.

Yes, back in the 80’s I made occasional purchases from the good folks at Brushy Mtn. Bee Supply.
That almost fits under the small nurseries going belly up thread.

They were a big cash rich company, many many machines, buildings, land holdings, and now many former employees.

I didn’t realize they got that big. I’ve visited in person the Kelley Company and Lapp Bee Supply back in the day. They didn’t have but a handfull of employees.

Yes they arrived safely, thank you! I plan to begin shipping a few out today.

The website I started is on this post.

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