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~* Peanut Has Become A ‘Basket’ Case
ors and . ~
lirector x by ELIZABETH STEWART
nt. All A Staff Writer
’e and 5 Whether it's a sewing basket, a
coholic flower stand, or a baby cradle,
wed in Vernon (Peanut) Smith is an expert
n the in weaving and constructing the
pattern for a customer while he
i Mr. Smith has been busy this
spring in his basket-making
~ workshop, which doubles as a
» 3 greenhouse in the winter months, at
' his home at 708 Meadowbrook Road.
The veteran, retired meter-reader
for the City of Kings Mountain got in
the basket-making business as a
hobby two years ago. He studied the
trade under Espey Cooke of Kings
b Mountain, a popular basket-maker
in this area, and decided to ply the
trade ‘‘a little bit” upon his
retirement this year at City Hall.
‘Peanut’, as he is affectionately
dubbed by his friends, made his first
flower stands for his wife, Stella,
é who loves fern and cactus.
i Some of Peanut’'s more popular
baskets are the durable fern holders
and the mini stands for cactus
plants. Other popular items are
~ sewing baskets, which are made-to
order and can be almost any size,
4 serving trays, bread baskets,
magazine racks, and fruit and nut
© bowl containers.
A clothes hamper is the most
difficult to construct because it
must, not only be very durable, but
constructed with depth to hold
clothes. Constructing a clothes
a basket is hard on the arms, ac-
— cording to Peanut, who said he
“almost wore his arms out’
wrapping the last clothes basket he
Summer months finds ‘Peanut’
I constructing a large batch of legs
and materials for baskets before the
patterns are cut out and the weaving
process gets underway. ‘‘Peanut’”
cuts the pattern to his customer's
specifications and it requires only a
few minutes to do the weaving and
After Meter reading all day and
working in the garden, ‘‘Peanut’”
says that weaving a basket is the
most relaxing ‘way to unwind.’
He Manufactures Them At Home
‘‘Peanut’’ has never advertised
his products, which he offers at
nominal cost to friends, and sold 200
flower baskets recently to a flea
market dealer from Lakeland, Fla.
He uses only the best, long-lasting
materials to construct the baskets,
which appear to be more durable
than the regular baskets found at
flea markets and specialty houses.
“I don’t want one of my friends to
meet me on the street and tell me the
basket I made wouldn't hold up”,
said .'‘Peanut,”” who said he has
never had any complaints from
At his workshop-greenhouse in his
backyard, Smith has an assortment
of cutting and basket-making tools.
One of the popular items in his
workshop at this time of the year is
the ‘‘black cat’’ which he carves and
has available for gardeners to keep
blackbirds from their gardens.
And, when he isn’t assembling
pretty baskets, ‘Peanut’ and his
wife, Stella McGuire Smith, are
busy in their garden which produces
vegetables for the freezer every
A Kings Mountain native, Peanut
Smith is son of the late Mr. and Mrs.
Frank Smith. Before joining the City
of Kings 14 years ago, he
was a twister hand at Neisco Mills’
Margrace plant. He also served with
Uncle Sam's Army for four years,
with overseas duty in Cairo, Egypt.
Oder members of the Smith
family are ‘‘Peanut’'s’’ two brothers,
Jack and Clyde Smith of Kings
Mountain, and three sisters, Mrs.
Ruby Dye and Mrs. Roy Pearson,
both of Kings Mountain, and Mrs.
Annie Durham of California.
Mrs. Smith is a native of Long
Creek, 8.C. and met her husband
when she came to Kings Mountain to
work at Mauney Hosiery. Mrs.
Smith is employed by Pauline Mill.
The Smiths are active in
Macedonia Baptist Church.
Stella Smith doesn’t share her
husband's love for basket-making
but she enjoys using his beautiful
handiwork to display her flowers.
And ‘‘Peanut’’ never tires of
creating more and more beautiful
novelty items. He has put his hobby
to work for him and is relaxing and
enjoying his retirement days.
Thursday, June 14,1979
Peanut Smith displays the various styles of baskets
he manufactures in his home workshop
A black cat carved from wood by Peanut is a popular
The basket weaver is hard
at work in his workshop item with gardners this time of year