A Leitchfield man’s decades-long passion for craft work has earned him numerous accolades, the most recent of which was the title of Grand Champion Master Craftsman at this year’s Grayson County Fair.
Donald Elmore, Sr., submitted a hand-crafted miniature replica of an old-fashioned truck, titled “Wind in the Willows,” in this year’s Fair craft contest, and won the first place blue ribbon, as well as a purple ribbon declaring him Grand Champion Master Craftsman.
Among its numerous features, Elmore’s prize-winning piece includes a crank in the front, a working windshield wiper, and a hide-away plank for loading and unloading items.
The construction of the replica truck took Elmore 127 hours over a period of six weeks.
“I am very grateful for that purple ribbon and the others,” said Elmore, known by many as “Pine Haven Pappy,” for his years spent as a resident of the Pine Haven community.
“I’ve been doing this kind of woodwork for 72 years now,” said Elmore, who started at age 10 by making airplanes.
Since then, he has made countless other items, including miniature replicas of a western stage coach, an ocean going oil tanker, a Florida Everglades air boat, a blue ribbon-winning paddle wheel steamboat, and an ocean going cruise ship.
One of Elmore’s most well-known pieces is a miniature replica of a Cantilever bridge, which he donated to the City of Leitchfield and for which, he said, he was awarded a Key to the City of Leitchfield by Mayor William Thomason in 2005.
The four-foot long, 22-inch high bridge replica now sits on display in the conference room of Leitchfield City Hall, Elmore said.
Elmore’s woodwork is not limited to arts and crafts. He has also built a number of pieces of furniture for his own home, as well as a life-size running truck, the latter of which took him five and a half years to complete.
Donald Elmore, Sr., now resides in Leitchfield with his wife of 62 years, Mildred, whom is also an accomplished artist, having written award-winning poems and at least 200 gospel and country music songs.
Together, Donald and Mildred Elmore have three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.
“I’d like to thank the people of Grayson County and surrounding counties,” Donald Elmore, Sr., said. “They’ve been very nice.”
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.