My journey in pictures

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tom Hendrix's Wall


Tom Hendrix drove to Oklahoma 32 years ago to find his Great-Great Grandmother's native people. What he decided to do once he got back home was to build a wall. They'd told him that her people (Euchee) honored their dead with stones. She had been a part of the removal of Native Americans in the 1830's from North Alabama to Oklahoma. She's the only one he says ("on record") to walk back. Tom tells me that each rock stands for the steps that she took out there (down one wall) and the steps that she took back (down another). So far he's went through 3 trucks, 27 wheel barrows, 2600 pairs of gloves (with 32 broken fingers), 3 dogs, 2 copperhead bites and one old man (as he puts it) to make up now multiple walls of over 8 1/2 million pounds of stones. He's built these walls alone. Tom says "she didn't make an ordinary journey so I didn't make an ordinary wall". People since have started coming from all over the world to see this wall. Many Native Americans and people from Tibet, Machu Picchu and as far away as Australia (Aborigines) have visited. He's still working on it and when I asked what's the longest day that he's worked, he says "some days I'll work a few hours and many days I'll work sun-up to sundown depending on the number of people who stop by". If you're ever in the Florence, Alabama area along the Natchez Trace, stop by (it's right at the County Rd. 8 crossing). He'll stop what he's doing and tell you as much as you wanna know. Sweet man. In leaving he tells me thank you "you honor my grandmother by coming". I asked for his picture and if he'd show me his hands (that's done all of this work). Onward toward Georgia, my home state...

P.S. Donny and Karen Lowery had told me about this special place. They were incredibly kind enough to put me up for a coupla days and feed me some great food. Thanks :)



2 comments:

  1. Amazing! Thank you for sharing that heart warming story Scott!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very nice Scott! Nice portrait of Mr. Hendrix.

    Mike P

    ReplyDelete