Look Around: County Line church angel - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Look Around: County Line church angel

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The old oak tree had shaded the south end of the cemetery at County Line Church between Puckett and Mendenhall for at least a hundred years, folks said.

“It’s closer to two hundred," Bo Hancock, chain saw sculptor said. "I mean just this much of it we counted 40 rings.”

Hancock was called in when Diane Stevenson saw the trimmed trunk from this angle with its upswept branches and thought she got a glimpse of something. 

She contacted Hancock to see if he thought he saw the same thing. 

After a week of cutting the trunk down to a manageable size and trimming off the parts not needed, everybody began to see what Diane and Bo saw - an angel emerging from the old oak to watch over the graves and also to leave a piece of the tree as a reminder of the mighty oak that once stood there.

“Lots of people’s come up her and tell me their grandpa tied the mule off here at this tree, you know. So it’s old and it’s got a lot of sentimental value to these people around here," Hancock said. "So that’s why they sort of wanted to make an angel out of it because it was leaning over and they were afraid it was going to fall and break tombstones and stuff like that. So…”

For Hancock, shaping a piece of wood into something else is what he loves to do.

“I always wanted to do something that I love and I love to do this and I think that’s why God gave this to me and I gave up a good career to do it," Hancock said. "But he’s blessed me very well.”

The finished product is all sealed against the weather now, and gazes out over the graves of those who used to walk under its shade and tied mules to its trunk.

It is more of a part of the past with them, now, but still here in the present, too.

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