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Nancy Wortmann is very happy her husband Dick has his own workshop. “(She) is definitely happy I can go out to my workshop – keeps me out of her hair,” Wortmann said laughing. When she is frustrated with him, she tells him she needs some firewood and his shop will be a good place to start – he laughs at her. But when he dies, he has given her permission to sell his wood and gets a good laugh out of that, too. Wortmann is a retired dairy farmer, living on his family’s homeplace north of Crofton, and a lifelong carpenter. “When I was about six years old, my dad and mom gave me a scroll saw for Christmas and I started cutting things,” Wortmann said. “I used peach crate boards for my lumber and I had a small farm, so I built pens and things.” Wortmann said that was how he learned to work with wood and what he could do with it. It became Wortmann’s passion. “I knew then I wanted to work with wood and I even had a job with a local contractor, ready to start after high school, when my brother, who was farming with my dad, fell and hurt his back,” Wortmann said. “There was no one to work with dad so I stayed home on the farm and have been here ever since.” Over the years there have been plenty of opportunities on the farm for Wortmann to use his carpenter skills but now, as he watches his ‘boys’ run the farm, he has cut down the carpenter work to creating a selection of finely hand-made ball point pens. Several years ago, he built a workshop and today it is filled with wood, power tools and the best part, creative inspiration. “Making pens is my favorite thing to do,” Wortmann said. Wortmann’s pens are all made from native wood grown in the area, including many cuts from trees on his farm, and that is his specialty – his niche, but he does have a collection of wood from all over the United States. People bring him certain species or types and may have a request for a pen, salt and pepper shakers, a cutting board – almost anything he can make. A good friend, a carpenter in his own right, brought him some wood from Alaska or then there’s a friend who had a tree on their property which may need to be torn down and they bring a piece for a project they want. He has cherry wood, plum wood and even deer or elk antlers for special projects. “I like to make pens in particular because I can come in here in the evening after I have finished work and make a pen from start to finish,” A Passion For Pens vBy Linda Wuebben Save up to 2675 $ with manufacturer rebates and available incentives Save 30%* Now with 2018 Federal Tax Credits for All Solar & GEO Thermal Home Comfort Systems *certain restrictions apply HEATING & COOLING 2401 Broadway, Yankton • 605-665-9461 www.larrysheatingandcooling.com Serving the Yankton, Vermillion and Surrounding Areas For Over 36 Years 16vHISVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018

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