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I Forge Iron

Judd Nelson, rip


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Jud R. Nelson passed away Monday afternoon June 6th at the Gordon Health Care Center. Jud was 99 years old. He was born June 23, 1911 in Cherokee County, the son of the late Bill and Cleo Nelson. Jud was a long-time resident of Gordon County, living in Sugar Valley for 75 years.

I watched Judd demo at the 1980 abana con. at Purchase NY.........Great old fellow.

I remember feeling like a ''mouse in the corner'' observing Cyril Stanley Smith r.i.p (renowned metallurgist and author) approach the demo and pause. This was a stark contrast seeing Judd in his overalls and engineer hat with Cyril in his natty tweed suit and bow tie side by side...........

Cyril looked around and noticed a homemade shear Judd had cobbled together for chopping hot iron and made the comment '' did you design this shear''.........And Judd, maybe a little annoyed at his presence gruffly replied ''IT DIDN'T GIT DESIGNED IT JUST GOT BUILT''.......Cyril laughed and moseyed off...........Thanks Judd...mb

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He's the one that built the wagon in Foxfire 9, right?

I knew an older gentleman who has since passed away that had worked with Jud. He said Jud was the best forge welder he had ever seen.

99... wow. I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know he was still around. Foxfire 9 came out in '86 and Jud wasn't a spring chicken then.

He will certainly be missed.

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When I met Judd I had shown up about 40 minutes early for a get together at his home and forge (overzealous learner) Judd invited me in and we sat and talked awhile. I learned Judd lived a simple life filled with many hours of hard work building and repairing simple items, honest to their use, pure to the task. I think making something simple that works is often a harder than it seems, it was a privilege to have had a good day at the forge with the man.


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