|An early morning look at Hazard's
church directory sign located
at the Hwy 2 & 10 junction. The road sign was dedicated in August
See Hub article below.
The following article originally appeared in the 1-12-04 edition of the Kearney
Written by Tammy Skrdlant, Hub Regional Editor.
Pointing the Way
Hazard man's homemade iron directory points people to town's churches
HAZARD―Clouds against a blue sky seen through an iron church directory appear as if one is looking up at heaven.
"What I like is you can see the clouds through it," said Gary Feldman, who made the sign after seeing a similar one near McCook. "I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to make one."
The top of the sign, painted black and white, is shaped like a country church, complete with windows, a bell in the steeple and a cross. The frame is made of pipe, and the side of the church and its roof are expanded metal.
One side of an arrow pointing into town urges passers-by to "come worship with us." The other side lists the names and addresses of Hazard's three churches - Faith Lutheran, St. Gabriel's Catholic and United Methodist.
The directory took 150 to 200 hours to complete. Feldman didn't have a pattern, so he experimented with four or five designs. His son, Dan, a Litchfield High School senior, did much of the welding.
"The bell took a long time, too," Feldman said. "I'm happy with the way it turned out. I find it very inspirational. Every time I drive by it, I get shivers. ... It still does that to me."
The sign, which which stands 17 feet tall and is 8 feet across, was dedicated in August. Feldman donated the labor, and the Lutheran women's group paid for the materials.
Making the sign proved to be fairly easy, but finding a location was a little more difficult, he said. He found out he couldn't put a sign just anywhere.
The sign fit state size specifications, but it could only be located on land that was zoned commercial. The site is southeast of the Highways 2 and 10 junction, back a ways from the road.
There's a lot of people who don't see it," Feldman said.
His dad taught him how to weld, and Feldman took welding classes at a tech school, but he isn't a commercial welder. Feldman raises 100 head of cattle and farms 200 acres of corn, 50 acres of beans and 150 acres of alfalfa. He still welds for fun at his home southwest of Hazard.
"I enjoy making stuff. A lot of people hunt and fish. I'd rather be in my machine shed welding," he said.