March 15, 2002 - Wood Worker

Just when you thought old-time craftsmanship and hand-made merchandise had gone the way of the dinosaur, along comes someone new willing to devote the time and skill necessary to create quality.

One such guy lives Livingston Parish. About 4 miles south of Interstate 12 on Highway 447, Richard Brown fills the air with cypress sawdust. With skilled hands and loving craftsmanship, Richard makes swings and gliders.

"These are screwed, glued and nailed," he says. "They're not coming apart. They are guaranteed", Richard says, "If they ever break, bring them back, and they'll be fixed free. I try to build quality swings, and the people like it."

Richard is the kind of guy who just naturally loves to work with wood. He must have been doing it for a quarter century, but it's only in recent months that he decided to open his shop on Walker South Road and make money from the hobby he loves. The sound of the machinery in Richard's shop in frequently punctuated by the clipety-clop of his up-scale hand-made rocking horses.

In the comfort of one of his cypress swings, he'll tell you why he left the petrochemical industry for this down-home life. "It's just something that felt comfortable to me, staying home, making something with my hands. It's something I enjoy doing. It's fun." A real swinger! Richard Brown's swing shop is on Walker South Road, about four miles south of I-12.