By Edna Ward
Chyron and Lynda Wood were married more than 50 years ago. Among gifts Chyron gave to Lynda not long after they were married was a tiny basket he carved from a peach seed. She added the basket to a chain and has worn it since.
Chyron has carved many items before and since the peach-seed basket. Some of his carvings won prizes in various art shows. One winner is a high-top shoe complete in every detail, even down to the stitches. Each shoe takes from seven to 11 hours to carve. Another winner is his mule.
He tries to use bass wood for his carvings but has used mahogany, cedar and wild cherry, too. Also included in his carvings are statutes of little people with very detailed folds in their clothes and smile lines on their faces.
His carving of love birds from a block of cedar was awarded the grand prize in one art show.
As a child, Chyron was allowed to carry a knife. He said, “Back then people called it whittling when we carved wood.” Growing up on a farm in Cullman County, he said he does not ever remember not having a knife. “We needed one for lots of things,” he said.
He was born in Crane Hill, and later the family moved to Good Hope – both communities are in Cullman County. Chyron and Lynda moved to Huntsville in 1963 and moved to Opelika in 1973. Opelika has been their home since.
He served in the U.S. Army in Germany, and among his duties were repairing electronic equipment and operating an emergency radio station.
After his army service, he worked in Huntsville as a writer for technical manuals and did some drawing in order to illustrate his writing. He explained, “As a tech writer, I had to get to the point. There wasn’t much fluff. I had to say what I wanted to say and that was it.”
“My Journey” by Chyron Wood is a book just now available. The 129-page book contains a collection of over 70 delightful little short stories from his life’s experiences.
Chyron has given much of his time and energy to missions. He has led mission teams from Pepperell Baptist Church for the last 28 years. Some of his stories relate to this work.
Among the book endorsements, Thomas Rush, pastor at First Baptist Church Natchitoches, La., wrote, “Chyron Wood has left his mark on the heart of this pastor. He has been an amazing example of servanthood, faithfulness, strength and grace to my entire family. I only wish my grandchildren could have the blessing of knowing this awesome servant of the Lord like my children have.”
“My Journey,” can be purchased for $15 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling, if applicable. Copies are available at the Museum of East Alabama. Also, Glenn Buxton, museum director, will host a book signing Dec. 12, 2014. This date coincides with Opelika Main Street’s Christmas in a Railroad Town.