Ralph Shoemake Ralph Shoemake (1984) . . . and so, who is Ralph?         Thunder in the Tale
. . . the Apprenticeship

- My service under the Colonel -

From curing your own lumber, to design & construction, to repairing & and maintaining your machinery and buildings, to applying a variety of finishes, I watched & learned a centuries old mountain way of having to do it all yourself. As the years went by, I tended the small orchard, vineyard and gardens; helping with harvests & the making of cider & wine in the fall. I mended fences, tended to pastures and cattle, fixed roofs, doors, siding, and windows; was there on bitter winter mornings to help get the fires going, and helped Blanch Barr, the colonel's wife, on some cool evenings harvest rhubarb for making pies.

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