by Lynn Weber
Lynn Weber only lived in Russett for a couple of years. He worked for Fred Chapman and lived with his sister and brother-in-law, Merle and Bill Wilcox. His years at Russett had a great affect on his life. He often recounted his days here. Before he died, he wrote for his website the following tribute to Boss Easterwood. - editor
This page is dedicated to a man that had a profound influence on my life. I would like to tell you about him and his great talents. I will also include some stories of our experiences.
Boss was not his real name, I don't even remember his real name because everyone called him Boss. He was a foreman for Fred Chapman and was a boss. I heard tell that he was called Boss even in his youth. I guess it was because he was a natural born leader. I learned so very much from this man. He could do most anything. His wife had a sewing circle group of women at their home There was a certain stitch that they didn't know how to do. So they called Boss in and he was able to show them how do it. I don't think he was very well educated formally. But, he had knowledge in so many fields. I heard tell that he used to make whiskey stills over near Wilson, OK before he joined the church. He made chains in his spare time little ones and big ones. He would challenge you to find where he forge welded it. Well you couldn't. At least I never could.
I remember one morning Boss came out the back door of his house and as I came around the corner, he lit a cigarette and flipped the match into a bucket of gasoline that I was carrying, if the weather hadn't been quite cold it would have ignited the fumes, you know that gasoline doesn't burn, only the fumes if it had ignited I would have surely dropped the bucket and Boss and myself would have been burned.
Chapman came into the possession of the old railroad water tower. Somehow Boss and I were to tear it down and move the remains to the farm headquarters. I was holding a large cold chisel and Boss was hitting the cold chisel with a big sledge hammer to cut the bands. We had it laying on the ground where we could get to it. I trusted Boss because he was good with a sledge hammer, but somehow he hit my hand. I don't know if it was my left or right. Anyway my fingers, all four on the same hand were black and blue, ultimately losing the fingernails. I picked up the hammer and tried to hit him with it. I chased him down the railroad tracks trying to hit him. We were so tired and hot that we were just walking and me swinging the hammer at him. We would sit and rest and I would get up and chase him again, swinging the hammer. Finally, I was so tired I just fell to the ground laughing. I saw the funny side of it all and wouldn't have hurt him anyway He apologized, I knew he didn't do it on purpose.
Boss taught me very much that helped me become an auto mechanic. I have passed up several chances to get a promotion to stay in a field to where I could use my mechanic's ability. It paid off in later life.