County Road 12 - Vine Man

Published: Jan. 31, 2004 at 2:16 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 7, 2004 at 2:10 AM CST
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When you find the thing in life, that you are meant to do, there seems to be a joy that almost consumes you. Spend any time around Andrew McCall while he's working and you'll see that joy personified. Debbie Williams caught up with him somewhere out along County Road 12.

"I guess I've been building baskets 20 something years." Wearing his trademark ball cap, Andrew McCall is busy putting his stock outside his tent before the customers come. "I like making 'em. I just love making things.I don't have no desire to do anything else."  His customers and the townspeople of Fort Deposit renamed him early on, "There go the "Vine Man" with all them vines." he says with a chuckle.  And he chuckles, a lot. He starts his day with a laugh and a prayer. "I found it's good for me. I realized what I'm doing, God gave it to me so I acknowledge him in it. So, that the way my day begins everyday." No sooner has he said 'Amen' and closed his Bible, he grabs some vines out of the back of his truck and begins to work. "I went into the service and I made the mistake of coming out without a skill. So when I got out, I was still where I was. Pushing a wheel barrow." He did that for a while. "I started back with public working and I just couldn't take it no more. I quit. I told my wife I am not going back to that job no more. I got me a sack and started picking up cans that day and I haven't looked back since." A friend showed him how to make a wreath out of wild grape vines. "I did a craft show and I sold something and then i knew. I sold my wreath at the craft show, I did good. We were a happy family that day."  The "Vine Man" was born. "I don't wake up in the morning hating to go to work I tell any people, when you get a job that you hate. Your stomach starts trembling in the morning when you got to go to it, throw it out."

His customers come from all over the southeast, seeking out his one of a kind treasures. They're sure to find something they like, if only the attitude of a man who loves what he does for a living. "My philosphy on my baskets life is not all straight, semetric, square, straights and triangles. Life is bumps and ups and downs and my basket reflects that."

McCall says he would like to have a sotre full of his baskets but until that happens he's content to set up shop at along the Fort Deposit exit of Interestate 65.