I have been asked by Roger a Vietnam Veteran, to help him make known the beautiful hand carved canes that he has made over the past 30 years. Please read his story below and share
thank you, Erika Masterson Photographic Artist. Update: I am sad to report that Roger has passed away. He was a wonderful man with so many great stories. He was an amazing artist and lover of Jesus. May he rest in peace…
Roger Holt; The Crutch Walla
Roger Holt is a Vietnam combat Veteran who has taken his severe PTSD and channeled it into beautiful hard-carved canes that are beautiful and functional works of art.
He had broken his leg in a flashback to the war and was on crutches; A friend of his built him a crutch out of beautiful wood. He lived on an island off the coast of Maine where he carved his first cane. This was the start of a 30-year art project. He worked in furniture finishing for many years in his youth in his family business. He started carving at the age of 6 when he carved his mom a wooden heart with I love you mom burned onto it. He uses his gift as therapy and his canes a filled with symbolism on many levels. On all his canes he carves RT. R for Roger and the T stands for the “Cross”, which runs through the R like the Rx symbol for healing, because he believes Jesus is the ultimate healer. The lord spoke to him in the war. His helicopter was hit, then two huge explosions over his head. All time stopped for him and he heard God say, “You just took a bullet in your engine Mr. Hoult.” They found a clearing and had a controlled landing. They all survived. Then he opened engine compartment and the bullet had blown a 1 square foot hole in the fire wall and has also passed through the middle hydraulic line. He insisted the pilot land. They were on the ground in enemy territory and knew they could die with no chance of rescue. He then hear God speak again, “It flew in, it will fly out, it’s fly or die Mr. Hoult”. It was a double miracle that he will never forget. His commanding officer had to report what happened and the only explanation was an “Act of God”. This is what he wrote on the paperwork.
Roger has over 100 that he has carved, 25 are ready to walk. He has put thousands of hours into his canes, one in particular, he worked on for 20 years, waiting for just the right pieces of wood to finish it.
He has a plan to donate them to the Medal of Honor Society, which he is nominated for that medal.
Right now he would like to get his work out there for people to see and would love to sell a few along the way.
He asked God to help him with a title for his works of art. He looked in the dictionary and the first page he opened he read “Walla”
“Walla means, “This is what you do and what you’re known for”.
He calls himself the “Crutch Walla.” And he calls each of his canes a “Walking Walla”. He also likes “The Third Legacy” because your final legacy is to run the race, even with three legs.
You can contact Roger through his helper Erika Masterson if you have an interest in showing his canes or purchasing or helping with press to showcase his artwork. You can view some of the canes on Erika’s blog at www.erikamasterson.com
photos by Erika Masterson
Canes made by Roger Hoult