Carpenter turns flood-damaged wood into furniture

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — John Hollaway has been doing carpentry on the side as a hobby since high school. When he recently lost his job, he had no idea what he was going to do for income.

“Pretty much left that up to God to decide. It took him awhile. It was all in his good timing,” Hollaway says.

Hollaway says he got his answer one day while driving through Wimberley to visit his sister. He saw all the flood-damaged cypress trees and thought about repurposing the wood to make something for his sister. “I thought to myself, a piece of that cypress would make a nice mantel piece for my sister,” Hollaway recalls.

After he finished the product, she suggested he sell the finished product online instead. Once he posted it online, residents in Wimberley saw what he was doing and the calls started pouring in for his furniture.

“They buy my pieces and then they donate them to flood victims that have lost their furniture and so forth. And I have made some pieces for people at no cost,” Hollaway says.

Folks find him on Facebook put in their request and he gets to working.

In order for him to create these pieces he has to get the OK from homeowners on the river like Carol Ahlgren.

In her 2 1/2 story home flood water got up to the second floor. For her neighbors she tells us they were hanging on to their home for six hours until safety came.

Remembering that tragic night, she says having those trees down are a constant reminder. Even more, it is heartbreaking to see the loss.

“They’re like our family members. You know they have been here probably 300 to 400 years,” Alghren says.

That is why she gave John the permission to use her down trees.

“There is so much positive going on in Wimberley and the recovery and so this is another part of it,” Alghren says.

John believes his new project is more than recovery, it’s sign of Wimberley’s rebirth.

“I call it life after death,” Hollaway says.

John says he has made anything from tables to mantelpieces and he has many more projects in the works.

If you are interested in getting some of his work call him at 512-966-0449.

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