Gift to Odyssey

by Torry Martin

Dear B. Log,

Are you ready to be shocked and amazed? As you know, the past several months I’ve been working very hard to restore a massive barn on my property. After much thought, I’ve decided to turn it into an arts center for the community!

It’s going to be my Valentine’s Day gift to the town of Odyssey. I seriously could not have accomplished this by my lonesome, though. Nearly everyone has pitched in to help me in some way.

Seems like every time I’d start feeling overwhelmed with the project, someone would show up to help me and give me some much-needed encouragement. That’s reason No. 372 why I love Odyssey.

The idea for creating an arts center has been stewing in my brain for a long, long time. For years people have been calling me a “salvage artist” and telling me I should teach classes on how to repurpose trash.

“Well, if I could find a place big enough to teach classes in, I would!” I’d always respond.

It wasn’t until Mr. McCready paid me to move the barn that I realized my dream was actually possible.

Best of all, I’ll be using junk from the barn remodeling project to teach classes. Old candles will be melted down, and scrap lumber will find new life through woodcarving. Broken glass and tiles will be transformed into mosaic art.

Even the barn itself is a work of art! It’s painted bright red with a jet-black roof white trim. The windows are made completely out of stained glass that was salvaged from the remodel. Pretty cool, huh?

Speaking of cool, I can’t wait for folks to see the 30-foot cross that I made! I spent several weeks welding it together from old steel trusses, lawnmower wheels, car bumpers, hub caps, reflectors, kitchen utensils, ladders, cables, bottles, circuit boards, bicycle parts, barbed wire and other assorted bric-a-brac.

This cross is the perfect representation of what I want the arts center to symbolize: Jesus takes all our sinful garbage upon himself, and through Him all things are made new and beautiful.

It’s sure been a lot of hard work. Even naming the arts center was difficult. I toyed with many ideas, such as Reborn Art, Fresh Beginnings and even Second Chances. But nothing seemed to fit.

I was about to give up when a good name finally hit me: Barn Again Arts. Perfect, right?

Then it occurred to me that the acronym would be “BAA,” so I painted the name on the roof along with a cartoon of a smiling sheep mascot that I nicknamed “Mr. Barns.”

It. Looks. Awesome!!!

I’ve gotta run. It’s time for me to give my barn-sized valentine to Odyssey. I don’t want to miss seeing Mr. Whittaker perform the ceremony while Connie cuts the ribbon.

Until next time, B. Log! I’ll be baa-ck.

This article first appeared in the February 2012 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Torry Martin. Used by permission. Illustration © Gary Locke.