Farmer Jim’s Autobiography

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I made this sign and the Letters and Numbers were all made with Real Wood & other signs were ingraved into the wood

Welcome to Farmer Jim’s World

I am a Child of God, Washed and Saved by the Blood of Jesus Christ

My life is really been something that many have always considered boring. However, there has been one thing I have made sure did not get in my life, that was Greed. I think greed has been the downfall of many lives and I think Greed was the downfall of America. I think God has protected me from myself for my entire life and I Thank God for that blessing!

I met my wife right after I got out of college. We dated four years before we decided to get married. We have been married for nearly 36 years, that puts us together for nearly 40 years. My wife and I raised four children, 3 sons and 1 daughter. We have been very blessed with some wonderful children. Like all children, they sometimes have chosen some bad turns in their lives. But now that they have grown up, you couldn’t ask for any better children and we are very proud of them.

Now it comes to me, let me tell you some things that were turning points in my life. I have worked very hard in my life and made some good choices and not so good choices in my life. I guess we all do that, but it seems like I have made more wrong choices in my life than good ones. I Thank God that he allowed me to meet a good woman and allowed us to be together. That probably was the first major turning point in my life besides God.

If you haven’t gotten bored by now, I will tell you some more about myself and how I ended up a servant for God with the Lighthouse Food Farm.

Just after my wife (which I will be referring to as Brenda in the rest of this article) and I got married I went back to Technical College because the college I went to and graduated taught me skills that there were no demand for in our area. We wanted to stay in our area because of the schools and rural area for our childrens sake, onced we decided to have them.

Now that decision may not have been a great one because of my wilder years. I didn’t know that then and my children suffered because of my past. Had I known this, you can bet we would have moved where no one could find us or knew me. The guilt of knowing that my children have suffered for some of the things I had done (which I am not so proud of) has eaten me up inside for years. Maybe that is society’s way of punishing me, but that was totally wrong to punish my children for things I may or may not have done.

Back to the Technical College, I received a Associates Degree in the Automotive Field and worked in that field for a couple of years. Then, here come the construction field, something I dearly enjoyed to do, running Heavy Equipment of all kinds.

Working in the construction field allowed me to purchase a 12×65 3BR 1.5 Baths to take care of my family, it was used but we actually still have that home even though the walls are about to fall off. I rebuilt the floors and rewired the home with a new switchbox in 1994 after 16 inches of rain washed it off its foundation. Sure was nice to have the skills to do this since paying someone to do it would not have been an option for us.

The ability to operate heavy equipment came in handy this year when we planted 30 blueberry trees and 38 grape plants and 10 muscadine plants. I was a bit rusty because I hadn’t operated a trackhoe (some call it an escavator) in over 7 years. This one was a lot smaller than the ones I was use to as well, so I had to get use to the controls.

Below is a video where I was preparing the ground to be enriched with organic material before planting the blueberry plants. Thanks to Dickson Tractor and Randy Dickson, we completed the job very quickly as it needed to be because of the time of year they were planted.

After about 5 years in the construction world, I got my CDL (Commercial Drivers License) and started driving a 18-wheeler. Fortunately while the kids were small, I was driving mostly local and not gone but a few days a week. Later, the long hauls came into play and I was gone three weeks at a time and that got old after several years. I left the road and drove local for a few years then completely got out.

We have owned several businesses, but the main one that we enjoyed the most was “Springtime Wood Craft“. We built crafts and such and did pretty well. It even allowed us to be there for every event our children had in school.

Then we were approached by a scool principal and asked to build an easel for Reading Recovery (a program for teaching how to read) for the school. That ended up being a major product and we geared up for that to be mass produced because after the first delivery, we had tons of orders for more. We ended up with several models, one we called a Briefcase easel, one for Whole Language, and one for Reading Recovery. We even ended up with one that had chalkboard on it because the school had replaced all the chalkboards with DryErase boards.

We shipped easels all over the world and even bought a truck to do deliveries with ourselves. Below is a picture of the Whole Lauguage Easel getting ready to be delivered with our Box Truck. You will seel some heavy duty outdoor furniture built with treated lumber behind them as well.

 The video below is pictures of some of the products we made at Springtime Wood Craft. The pictures were scanned and some of them had water damage. We didn’t have access to a digital camera back then so please forgive the quality of the pictures.

I would probably still be doing woodwork if it hadn’t been for the hurricane called Andrew. That is when wood and raw material prices skyrocketed. The price increase of raw materials made it hard for us to be able to sell our work at affordable and reasonable prices. I miss working with wood, creating my own patterns and useful items.

That era passed in my life and I started working for Anderson County Road Maintenance in Anderson, South Carolina. I started as a CDL Truck Driver and was promoted to the Signshop. I became the Signshop Coordinator and this was a really good job. I got to create signs for Freedom Weekend Aloft, design and apply decals for the county vehicles. Also, part of my job was to document accidents with pictures that involved county vehicles at the accident scenes as well.

At this point I had my first digital camera that cost $650 dollars at that time and it saved the pictures on a floppy disk. I actually still have that camera and it works, it is a Sony. My new digital camera (about 8 years old now) is a Canon SD-750 and it does a superb job and I don’t have to worry about a floppy.

I have put together a video of some of my work for Anderson County. I did not include the pictures of the accidents for legal purposes. I think you will enjoy viewing some of my work at Anderson County. I could not include all of my work because it made the video too long, possibly even boring.

I will have more information on my life as I gather it and I will update my autobiography as I am able. Thank you for taking time to view, I hope it has helped you to learn a bit about me and my capabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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