Useful Talents

| October/November 1994

  • Levern Jewell at tiny lathe
    Levern Jewell at tiny lathe on which he cuts precision parts.
  • Levern Jewell
    Levern Jewell with the tiny engine he made from scratch.

  • Levern Jewell at tiny lathe
  • Levern Jewell

Westmoreland News, P.O. Box 699, Montrose, Virginia 22520

This article originally appeared in the Westmoreland (Virginia) News, and is reprinted here with permission. It was sent to us by Robbins Douglas, Rt. 1 Box 476, Kinsale, Virginia 22488

A pine-green 1920 Fairbanks-Morse chuffs to life under the hands of Levern Jewell. The handle that starts her isn't the beautiful piece of brass Jewell cut for her, but that one was so heavy it flung itself around and nearly smashed his knee.

'I thought my knee was broken. It hurt so much. I thought, 'Man, if that ain't awful in this world!' So I hobbled over to the hacksaw and cut the pin off so I'd not use it again.'

We're back to the old aluminum crank, but even without the fancy handle, you can tell the engine is enjoying it selfglad to be running again under any circumstances.

'The rod was rusted right off when we looked at it. Lucky the right man got a-hold of her,' admonishes Jewell's friend Robbins Douglas, who's been agitating for awhile to get us down to Jewell's shop at Harry Hogan.