Hatteberg's People - Pastor Samuel Wood

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It's not everyday you meet a Pastor who has a passion for cigar boxes. He doesn’t smoke the cigars... doesn’t even like them. Pastor Samuel Wood of Wichita’s Dawson United Methodist Church, however, sees these cigar boxes as instruments…making music from the heart.

♫ “I do believe, there is a heaven somewhere.”

“From a long time ago, I understood that I’m a Pastor.”

♫ “I do believe, I really do believe there is a heaven somewhere.”

“I love the music and it helps me become more joyful.”

Samuel Wood is the pastor of this South Wichita United Methodist Church.

“I was so fascinated with the idea of taking something so common and something that was going to be thrown out and turn it into a musical instrument that I just had to try it.”

So now, with cigar boxes waiting to be born again, part of his job, is finding the right piece of wood to mount the strings.

“Different woods give different color to the tone. I don’t know…I guess there is something different that happens when you put more sweat into it.”

♫ “You load 16 tons, what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt, St. Peter don’t you call me ‘cause I can’t go – I owe my soul to the company store.”

“And even though I’m not a great vocalist and I’m not a great musician at all, but there is a way of connecting that I like.”

♫ “Halleluiah, halleluiah!”

♫ “All my treasurers with you I’d gladly share.”

“When somebody sees you pick up a cigar box guitar they don’t really know what they are going to hear and when they hear music and it has some authenticity and it rings – it speaks to a lot of people.”

♫ “Let the Midnight Special, shine its ever loving light on me.”

“The earliest roots of American music were born in hardship. These are instruments born in hardship. When you see a paint can lid, you wouldn’t think it would find its way into a guitar but here it is.”

“It came from a local cigar shop and they were just going to throw it out.”

Last year, he built 90 of them.

“I like to think of this hobby has having a profound redemptive aspect to it. I guess that is what appeals to the theologian in me.”

“And those who have, even if it is only a little more are responsible for sharing and lifting up their sisters and brothers.”

♫ “Get on board little children, get on board, little children – little children, there is room for many a more.”

Larry's Note: Pastor Wood knows more about cigar box guitars than can be put in a television story. He joins others on-line who have the same interest. Cigar box guitars are an major part of American history and Pastor Wood's study of its origin helps put it in perspective in history.

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