Surrounding the workshop of Wyatt Childs Inc., the acreage is stacked with antique stonework, ironwork and enormous millstones and grindstones. It’s literally a garden of earthly delights, and I spent as much time as I could wandering in the yard during the French Oak Roubo Project.
But I missed something, and it took Will Myers to set me straight. After we cut off work on Tuesday night, our clothes shot through with French oak, Will guided me to a huge chunk of rock I’d missed before.
It was the stone architectural ornament shown above. In the center is a skep that is flanked by scales (not sure what is on the scales; they don’t look like coins). Below is written: Industry Labor & Wait.
Bo Childs said the ornament came from an English bank building where it was above the door. The “& Wait” part is what deposit holders are supposed to do when they save their money. I was a bit confused by the American spelling of “labor” on an English bank building, but it’s a big world with a lot of odd spellings.
Will turned to me and said: “You have to have it.”
The piece is massive – it weighs 2,600 pounds. My head spun when thinking about how to move that into the storefront’s biergarten 500 miles away. Apparently I was so dizzy that I asked Bo how much he wanted for his pretty rock.
Bo said: “You have to have it.” And he quoted me a price that I couldn’t say no to.
Getting the rock to my door in Covington is easy via LTL and a liftgate. But the last 20 feet are going to be a creative and careful endeavor. I don’t want my obituary to say I was crushed by a symbol of capitalism.
— Christopher Schwarz