Perry County native returns to show off and sell unique crafts

By: Laura Beranek
By: Laura Beranek

HAZARD, Ky. Shorty Napier is one of many vendors at the Black Gold Festival, but his skills come from a unique beginning.

"I had a heart attack so the doctor told me I had to pick up a hobby to do with my hands," said Napier, "I have arthritis. And I've been doing it ever since."

His first wood project was a gift for his grandson.

Another grandchild served as the inspiration for the pride of Shorty's woodworking tent.

"I went to his house and I was like 'Grandpa, I want to see you build this for me,'" said Napier's granddaughter Keisha Caudill, "I went here for a field trip and I want to see you build it. This is what he came up with."

And so...

"We have the Belle of Louisville," says Napier, "It took me two and a half months to build this thing. Nails went one way, hammer went one way, and I flew the other a lot of times."

Caudill says she was shocked.

Her grandfather says it was all worth it.

Napier worked in a sawmill for 14 years, and his woodwork is not only a hobby but a source of income.

The Belle of Louisville is for sale at the black gold days. Shorty is asking $200.

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