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Project by patron posted 06-26-2010 06:02 AM 3314 views 1 time favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

found this box in a dumpster years ago ,
it was originally a transit box , for a surveying instrument .
Leon fixed it up , and used it for many years as his feather box for his native american church things .
leon was a vietnam vet , and when in chicago earlier in life was part of one of those comic playhouse deals there ,
he and john belushi , were a pair , and did the circuit and drank like two fish together ,until john got a chance to go on saturday night live ,
leon was getting married , and passed on this .
leon had heart problems , and refused to see the VA hospital , because some returning vets had told him that the VA sucked , so he never did ,i ran a prayer service for him 5 years ago , and convinced him to go get some help .
he did , and for two months he was the happiest guy in the world , they were even going to fix his hearing .
he went to the hospital for his heart , routine surgery , the surgeon told him , if he had come in 6 months before ,
he could go fishing the next day , but he couldn’t guaranty as things stood at that time ,
leon had 3 open heart surgeries , in 3 days , he never made it . bless you brother !
i got to run his memorial service too , and 4 years later , another friend ran one in the lakota sioux way .
this box and all leons things were voted to be given to various people , the box had a cracked top ,
i couldn’t repair it simply , i routed 2 groves into it to span the tear on ,one side , and inlay-ed the 4 primary colors of that tribe into it . black, red ,yellow , and white , and the other to balance the top out ,
and added a aromatic cedar inside top and bottom to it , to cover the tear in the top from the inside .

tomorrow night i am going to another good friend and wife’s , home and life prayer service , where i had worked for 4 years , helping them build and fix their property up ,
kieth is a surveyor , and we had voted that leons box should go to him , he doesn’t know about it , so when i give it to him , on behalf of the church , it will be a surprise .

the fifth picture is some of leons paintings , this one is 4’ across , and is the largest one he made ,
his wife gave me this as a thank you for the service i had done for them , and his memorial .
the box itself is philippine mahogany , box jointed corners , factory made im sure ,
my inlay strips are walnut , redheart , yellowheart , and holly ,
the leather handle and the hooks , i don’t know if they were part of the box , or added by leon later ,
i cleaned and sanded it , and sprayed minwax poly on it .

thanks for looking , be safe !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

33 comments so far

View jack1's profile


2131 posts in 4565 days

#1 posted 06-26-2010 06:06 AM

You constantly amaze me with your skills. You also have a good heart. I sure wish I lived the next mesa over and across the arroyo…


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4311 days

#2 posted 06-26-2010 06:22 AM

A very special box from a very special person. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4114 days

#3 posted 06-26-2010 06:29 AM

God bless Leon and God bless you for your love of others and just for being who you are.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4234 posts in 4113 days

#4 posted 06-26-2010 06:31 AM

If more people had your attitude and outlook, I think the world would be a better place.
(I know I wish I had a chunk of your talent.)

View Gary's profile


9402 posts in 3970 days

#5 posted 06-26-2010 07:10 AM

David, every time you write like this, I wonder how many lives you have touched. You will be remembered well, my friend. If love could keep a person alive, you would no doubt live another couple hundred years…

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3728 days

#6 posted 06-26-2010 07:20 AM

The painting is great, and the inlay on the box is great, I really like the way you work in colors.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18703 posts in 4213 days

#7 posted 06-26-2010 08:32 AM

Good job for a great cause DAvid.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Cher's profile


963 posts in 3631 days

#8 posted 06-26-2010 09:29 AM

David, this is a wonderful tribute to your friend Leon and Keith.

-- When you know better you do better.

View patron's profile


13658 posts in 3878 days

#9 posted 06-26-2010 09:35 AM

thanks all ,

‘and the beat goes on ’ !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View littlecope's profile


3073 posts in 4039 days

#10 posted 06-26-2010 10:39 AM

A Fine Tribute to your Friend Leon’s Life and Spirit, David… Good Man…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View ellen35's profile


2742 posts in 3970 days

#11 posted 06-26-2010 11:05 AM

Another amazing box!!!
David, you are incredible.
You are to story-telling what Degoose is to video!
I love reading the history of your work.
The inlay is beautiful.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View degoose's profile


7259 posts in 3892 days

#12 posted 06-26-2010 11:28 AM

To be your friend.. is to be part of a greater life experience…
Thank you and thank you Ellen.. I have never been compared in quite that way.. I like it…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 3846 days

#13 posted 06-26-2010 11:40 AM

As indicated by the painting, it appears Leon, like yourself, was a great talent. I don’t know which I like more, the stories, or projects. Thanks for posting my friend.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3574 days

#14 posted 06-26-2010 01:08 PM

A very noble thing done, David. By a very noble man.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View stefang's profile


16807 posts in 3872 days

#15 posted 06-26-2010 01:09 PM

A touching story David. I believe that you have found the right way to live life, which is to share others joys and sorrows as a supportive friend rather than just being an observer.

I like the box and the spiritual inlays you’ve added to it. If it was a surveyor’s box I could see the strap handle being an original part of it. In my minds eye I can see the surveyor walking across a field with the box slung over one shoulder and carrying his tripod in the other hand.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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