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Gandy, Roy

gandyR

Walking Stick Carver

Roy Gandy was born in Homer, Louisiana, in 1914 and and lived in Winnfield, Louisiana. Roy worked for Kansas City Southern Railroad as a yardmaster, retiring in 1975.

After retirement, Roy began woodcarving as a hobby. He would use any suitable roots, branches, and sapling trunks in order to carve personalized walking sticks. Roy's hobby had become almost a full-time job. He sold many of his sticks from his home, at folk festivals, and through the Baton Rouge Tourist Bureau.

Roy made his sticks from hickory, pine, oak, maple, black gum, ironwood, dogwood, hedge vines, and other types of wood. His work tools included a carpet knife, a small hand saw, an ice pick, a rasp, and sandpaper. The process began with the soaking of the wood for two days to loosen the bark so it can be peeled without difficulty. After the bark is stripped, the stick was shaved. Mr. Gandy then took an ice pick and removed any vines that grew into the sides of the stick. He put the final touches on the stick with sandpaper.

Mr. Roy Gandy had demonstrated his craft at the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival, and the Louisiana Folk Festival; he also assisted cancer survivors by participating in the Blue Bird Festival held annually south of Waskom, Texas. Mr. Gandy died December 10, 2008.