Northeast makes the holiday's 'palletable'

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by jamesc  11/18/2017 8:34:14 AM -- 

WAUSA, NE – The sounds of saws, hammers, cans of spray paint and laughter filled the wood shop at Wausa High School here recently. Those who were there worked to transform a device, normally used to move goods and containers, into works of art.

Rusty Flamig started tinkering with the idea of creating something aesthetic out of pallets after his wife read an article in a magazine.

“The first project that I did was prayer boards, which I just gave away to family and friends,” he said. “From that, I started making other designs, including a full size outhouse for my brother who has land in Wyoming.”

Flamig, who is the coordinator for the Northeast Community College Regional Office in Hartington, began his craftiness with pallets approximately three-years ago after he retired as the K-12 principal at Hartington Public Schools. He said he taught himself.

“I have things like this in my yard. My wife would initially do the markings and I painted them, but now I do that myself.”

Flamig’s pallets have a dual purpose, He cuts them so the wood can be painted on both sides; in this case, with a snowman on one side and perhaps a scarecrow or a pilgrim on the other, to celebrate the upcoming holiday season.

Flamig has transformed his hobby into a non-credit class through the college. He said it’s been “rewarding.”

“Four sisters and their mom signed up for one my classes in Hartington. They were a hoot,” Flamig said.

Friends Cheryl Timm and Jane Lindsay made the short drive from their homes in Pierce for the Wausa class. Both were working on snowmen.

“This really is a chance for a friend and I to hang out in the evening together,” Timm said. Lindsay quickly added, “Because I don’t see her as often anymore, so this is great!”

Timm and Lindsay plan to place their snowmen on their front porch or near their garages.

The women don’t consider themselves artists, “We’re crafters, I call myself a crafter,” Timm said. Lindsay continued, “My husband is an industrial arts teacher…he can cut my pallets for me!”  

Most of those who signed up for this particular class were adult women, but there was another class member stood out.

Henry Kumm, 11, was making a United States flag out of his pallet.

“Because I’m very patriotic,” he said when he was asked why he was there.

Not only will he place his new work of art as a statement to his patriotism in his front yard in Wausa, he plans to use it as another opportunity to showcase his talent.

“I’m going to use it next year as a 4-H project.”

But there is an another element as to Henry’s interest and it is a bit more than just painting a pallet red, white and blue.

“When I grow up, I want to be a Marine. It’s been a life-long dream for me.”

Henry wants to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who also served their country as members of the “Corps.” His mother, Lanell, was on the other side of the shop painting a patriotic snowman.

Flamig plans to conduct more of these classes during the spring semester at Northeast’s extended campuses in O’Neill and West Point.

“I’m going to have an Easter Bunny and a leprechaun…..which will be perfect for O’Neill.”



                                                              PHOTO CUTLINE


Ann Pfeil (left) and Virginia Lindquist, of Wausa, paint a snowman and scarecrow on wood taken from pallets as part of a Northeast Community College non-credit class held recently in Wausa.

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