LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Once upon a time, men like E.J. McCann were on every street corner.
"Back in the 17-18 hundreds when the United States was being founded, there was a blacksmith in every small town. A lot of farmers had their own blacksmith supplies and different things to sharpen their plows and to make utensils and things around the house. Very vital trade because everybody needed a blacksmith."
Now that he's retired from full-time preaching, this Baptist minister loves to teach others the art of blacksmithing.
I can't paint a picture like some people, but I can manipulate metal in some ways that other people who fool with metal have never been able to accomplish, so it's self-satisfaction.
And now you can learn both advanced and beginning blacksmithing from E.J. McCann at a series of Leisure Learning courses at McNeese State University.
Older people that remember when great-grandfather had something on his farm and they cranked the blower on the forge. Some people are just interested in seeing someone take a raw material and then in a short period of time transform it into something that is very artistic or something that may be very useful. For more information, go to www.mcneese.edu/leisure or call 337-475-5616.