Deschutes County Fair Theme Entry

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Project by Lee Barker posted 716 days ago 2172 views 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“Let’s Stirrup Some Memories” was the theme. Nothing you see was purchased for the piece—it was all stuff from thrift stores, garage sales and the scrap yard. Objects that I had filed away “in case I needed it.” Built from off-the-shelf parts.

The base, cherry, is about 25” x 10”. A variety of woods make up the rest. The tail is cotton string which was too white so I dyed it in strong tea. Orange pekoe and pekoe cut black, for the record.

I hope the piece stirrups some memories for you. As John Prine says, “It’s all right to look backwards once in a while, but it’s not good to stare.”

But back to our story, now presented in outline form:

Deschutes County Fair, Redmond, Oregon, 2012: Open Class exhibits: Craft: Woodworking: Professinal: Other.

First Place. Plus there was a smiley face sticker on my exhibitor’s tag. Priceless.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

15 comments so far

View SuburbanDon's profile


482 posts in 1595 days

#1 posted 716 days ago

Interesting. At first I thought it was a potato peeler.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View ksSlim's profile


956 posts in 1491 days

#2 posted 716 days ago

Punster 1st class award. Nicely done!

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Terry Ferguson's profile

Terry Ferguson

202 posts in 1268 days

#3 posted 716 days ago

Lee – You nailed the theme , juxtaposing several stirrup and related pieces creatively and with humor and whimsy. You are the one person, I know, that has a large and enviable collection of things and you put them to good use.
Well done!

-- Terry Ferguson, Bend Oregon

View mtenterprises's profile


815 posts in 1294 days

#4 posted 716 days ago

Just makes me smile.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View redryder's profile


2106 posts in 1702 days

#5 posted 716 days ago

What the heck??
You could only get away with that at the fair…..............

-- mike...............

View whitewulf's profile


438 posts in 1538 days

#6 posted 716 days ago

I did not have a clue until the second photo!
Figured it had something to do with foot!

-- "ButI'mMuchBetterNow"

View ChuckV's profile


2378 posts in 2128 days

#7 posted 716 days ago

Congratulations – that is great.

I have to add that if there is ever a “Medieval Torture Devices” theme, you are all set.

-- “That it will never come again / Is what makes life so sweet. ” ― Emily Dickinson

View  Box 's profile


4937 posts in 1909 days

#8 posted 716 days ago

It reminds me of the one my grandma had…brings back childhood memories…

View AKSteve's profile


434 posts in 904 days

#9 posted 716 days ago

it’s awesome ! I hope you get a lot of kudos for your project.

-- Steve - Wasilla, Alaska

View Bluepine38's profile


2876 posts in 1686 days

#10 posted 715 days ago

Took me a couple of minutes to figure out all the stirrups, but your collection must be something else, thank
you for sharing, and I can see why the smiley face was added.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View CharlieM1958's profile


15663 posts in 2819 days

#11 posted 715 days ago

Nice piece, Lee! Congratulations.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

463 posts in 776 days

#12 posted 715 days ago

I have no idea what it is or does. Someone needs to tell me.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

View rejo55's profile


175 posts in 843 days

#13 posted 715 days ago

Question: Lee, what in the world were you doing with an OB-GYN stirrup, or is that a question that I shouldn’t ask?
I looked at it and it looked neat. Then Miss Honey Ma’am looked and pointed out what the stirrup was and I just had to ask. LOL
No, seriously, that is a fantastic creation. No wonder it got first place and a smiley face. I love it!

Have a good’un

-- rejo55, East Texas

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1451 days

#14 posted 715 days ago

Hey Joe—Well, it goes like this. I frequent the local scrapyard (Swift & McCormick, Terrebonne, Oregon usa). It’s where I get away, get stuff, get inspired, get dusty and greasy, and smile constantly. Last year, for her birthday, I took my wife Linda there. On my previous trip I had found that exam-table stirrup and then misplaced it. I told her of my broken heart, and darned if she didn’t find that stirrup. It kicked (sorry) around my shop until I read the Fair theme this year. Bingo! I also had the English stirrup, and the shoe last, and the motorcycle peg, and was dismantling a bike at the time just to get a few parts from it, so the piece nearly built itself.

Here is a satellite view of the yard. It is impossible to grasp the immensity of it from above. Each of the piles is about 30’ high.

You weigh in, park, walk around, make your periodic piles of stuff and then drive back around and pick it up. $.30 per pound on the way out.

Hey! They’re open till noon on Saturday! What’re we waiting for!



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View spunwood's profile


1194 posts in 1437 days

#15 posted 715 days ago

I like it Lee, but really, what is it?

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

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