Talent Surfaced In Woodworking Class
Salisbury Post November 1, 1975
By Kathy Kearney

    Who would you think of buying a fooseball table for the den at the same place you bought that elegant grandfather's clock for the living room?  In a few years, it probably will be quite common... at least in West Rowan.
    Charles Barber, senior at West Rowan High School, has sold the clock and the game table already.  He just doesn't have the shop yet.
    Charles is and incredible young man who builds things (anything) out of wood.  He is quite a master at his art and will tell you so with a smile and a shrug.
    "I worked for a carpenter for a few years when I was younger and have been building things for years," Charles explained.  "I think I must have a special talent, because it comes so easy to me."
    He started out making stereo speakers and end tables in cabinet-making class at West Rowan.  He has progressed form speakers to bedroom suits in three years at high school.
    "I just love to work with wood," he said.  "I only use cherry, walnut and oak, because that's what grows on our farm.  My uncle has a saw mill and I process my own wood.  And then I just start.  I get an idea in mind, or see a picture and try it."

    Some of his endeavors include, his grandfather clock, (which took him only a month to construct), some fooseball tables for bars and lounges in the area, a cedar bed complete with drawers underneath, a 6-foot diameter walnut round table, end tables, cutting boards, a day bed, cabinets, and probably some things he forgot to tell about.
    The boy with the long blond hair also has a mechanical touch.  He rebuilds car engines and bodies.  He owns a classic $40 1954 Chevrolet station wagon that looks new.  He also is a handy fix-it man around the house.
    Charles almost didn't get the chance to develop his talent at West Rowan.  About three years ago, he was going to quit school.  He was confused about where to go and what to do.  Then Earl Lyerly, the wood-shop teacher heard about the problems he was having and invited him to work around the wood-shop for awhile.  Charles did a complete turn around.  "Ever since, he's been one of the most productive and cooperative seniors at West Rowan." said Lyerly.
    "After Mr. Lyerly got me straightened out, I really got into making furniture, but the classes were always filled up and hard to get into.  I liked woodworking so well,  I actually cheated my way into class.  We had to draw a number to see who would have to wait until the next term.  I drew three times until my number was called," he said.  "Finally, I made it."
    Charles attributes a lot of his success to his teacher.  "Lyerly really knows his stuff and has taught me so much.  Last year he made me his assistant and I really learned a lot."
    Mr. Lyerly considers Charles his star pupil and expects him to teach and help other students.
    Charles's interests do not stop at wood.  He is also a photographer for the school yearbook and dances with a Lake Norman Cloggers group.  "I also love to play basketball," he said.
    Charles plans to open his own shop on his grandparents' farm when he graduates.  He wants to convert an old barn into a woodworking shop.  He is now purchasing machinery with money he makes from selling furniture.
    His biggest dream is his hand-built home.
    "I want to build my own house some day," he remarked.  "It's my biggest dream.  I don't want it to be like the houses around here.  Its going to be different -better.  I guess I'll start it after I get my shop going."
    And of course, I want to furnish it with my own furniture."  Of Course!
  
A hide-out in the woods is Charles's tree house that he built a few years ago.  The house is filled with furniture and cabinets he constructed.