Claiborne County resident Bill Turner had an old horse trailer that was in a state of disrepair and he decided to ask the local high school for help make it like new again.
Not only did he get his trailer fixed, he said he received a blessing in the most unlikely of ways.
Turner, a member of the Claiborne County Board of Education, took his trailer to Claiborne High School hoping to get it repaired by students in Mike Wilmoth’s building trades class.
The repair involved welding, metalwork and woodwork and involved several students utilizing what they were being instructed in Wilmoth’s classes. Days passed by and Turner got the call telling him that they had completed the task and the trailer was ready to be picked up.
As Turner was at the school admiring the trailer, he said he overheard the students talking about the pride they were taking in their work and they had no trouble telling him which part of the restoration they were involved in completing.
Turner said that he took a photo and “as they were showing me the different parts that they had worked on I could not help but notice Mike (Wilmoth) in the background trying to not be noticed. I could tell by the proud look on his face that he was thinking that those were his kids.”
Turner then made a call to Darian Sandifer, who teaches the auto body class at Cumberland Gap High School, in hopes that they could finish the trailer with a new paint job.
Again, the students were eager to begin the project and were waiting on Turner when he got there. They talked about the job as the students unhooked the trailer. Just as before, Turner left after Sandifer said, “I’ll call you when it’s finished.”
Some time went by before Turner received the call to come and pick it up, but when he saw it for the first time he could not believe the job that they had done.
“It was simply breathtaking, some of the details that they took while painting it,” said a surprised Turner.
Again, the students were taking pride in what they had accomplished and in the background stood another prideful instructor.
The group went back inside to take shelter from the cold weather as they continued talking about who helped work on the project. It was revealed that there was one student not there for the picture so Turner asked for them to go get him.
According to Turner, Sandifer’s eyes swelled up in tears and obvious pain as he told Turner this missing worker was Logan Marcum. He told Turner Marcum’s story. Marcum was a baseball player and good friend to many at Cumberland Gap High School, but lost his life a few weeks earlier in an automobile wreck.
At that moment, Turner said he knew that as a group they had to do something in Marcum’s honor. Turner let the students choose and they came up with a painting of Marcum’s jersey number (34) and the initials for rest in peace (RIP).
Sandifer lovingly hand painted the details that completed the trailer.
Turner looked back at this experience and said, “This is what came out of my heart as a result of this old rusty trailer made almost new by these two teachers and their students and what they all stand for as a group. Young men and women just like Logan who have left us all too soon are not gone; they’re just waiting for us a little farther down the road.”