Keith Gregory has been carving wood for 33 years, the last 15 specializing in chainsaw carvings.
The Willard resident began a project Tuesday, Dec. 3, as part of a new sign planned for Woody’s Fast Stop at the corner of East Street and Route J in Stockton.
When finished, two large red oak logs will become a fisherman trying to pull a largemouth bass caught on a rod away from two bears, one standing on top of the other. The piece will be partially animated, as the fisherman’s arms pull on the metal fishing rod.
“Red oak is hard but stout,” Gregory said. He estimated the project will take about a week to complete, barring weather delays.
“The fisherman will be realistic, but the bears will look cartoonish,” Gregory added.
Gregory started out doing regular wood carvings, later transitioning to knife carving, then to chainsaws. He said he no longer does knife carving.
When he’s not carving, Gregory is a driver for UPS.
“It’s hard keeping two jobs going sometimes,” Gregory admitted.
Several examples of Gregory’s work appear at Woody’s Fast Stop and elsewhere in Stockton. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest freestanding chicken statue, a 43-foot tall rooster he made for a steakhouse in Branson.