The write stuff


By Sue Hughes | For The Times-Post

PENDLETON — Ask Rich Creason what retirement means and he’ll probably have to look the word up in the dictionary.

Although Creason, 75, left his job 20years ago as head groundskeeper at the Pendleton Correctional Facility in Pendleton after 32 years, that doesn’t mean he slowed down.

Creason, who is a columnist for The Times-Post, and his wife of 52 years, Susie, stay busy doing the hobbies they love.

Creason discovered shop class while in high school in Markleville.

He started building bird houses, but his real woodworking talent lies in designing and making pens.

Creason makes pens in his garage from wood he orders or buys locally.

He has made pens from olive wood that came from Bethlehem, Palestine. The wood comes with certification that it came from the Holy Land.

Another pen style features a blue strip in the wood and is made especially for first responders.

“I give those pens to first responders I run into when I’m out eating or running errands,” Creason said.

A pen that he made for his daughter, Angi, features a silver-colored space shuttle to reflect her career as an electrical engineer, which includes a couple of years working at NASA.

“I gave it to her for Christmas, and when my grandson (Benjamin) saw it, he wanted to know where his was,” Creason said.

So, Creason made Benjamin — who will be studying astrophysics and astronomy at Butler University starting this fall — a version featuring a 24-carat gold space shuttle on it.

Creason can’t say precisely how long it takes to make a pen. It just depends.

He works with wood of varying sizes and species. He typically cuts the wood into blocks measuring 3/4-inch square, 2 1/4 in length. He said sometimes he’ll cut a dozen of them at a time.

Then he works individually with each piece of wood, making them into pieces that to be assembled into pens. Creason sells the pens at the farmers market in Pendleton and other craft fairs around the state.

In addition to his woodworking, Creason writes for outdoor and wildlife magazines.

“I didn’t have any formal training in writing, but I wrote a story in 1980 and sent it to a national magazine,” Creason said with a laugh. “They wrote me back and said they didn’t use fiction in their magazine, but they liked it so much it was they published it. It was the first fiction piece they used.”

Since then, he has become a prolific writer, and has been published in many outdoor magazines.

Among other achievements, he has been staff editor of The Backwoodsman Magazine, and is also past director of Hoosier Outdoor Writers and Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. He is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.

Creason, who has a degree in wildlife management from Purdue University, also loves to hunt and fish. He and is wife go fishing every summer in Canada.

“He wouldn’t dare go fishing with our me,” Susie said with a laugh.

“We fish for the big ones, like northern muskie, walleye and salmon,” Rich added.

They have visited 36 states and Canada.

Rich said he likes to big game hunt in the western states. He has hunted bear and pronghorns in Wyoming and moose and in elk in Canada.

“Moose is the best meat you’ll ever eat,” Creason said.

Susie added, “We fed my mom bear meat, she said it was the best pot roast she had ever had. We didn’t tell her it was bear.”

Susie said she drew the line when Creason wanted to hunt alligator in Florida with a bow.

The Creasons joined a group from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to go excavating for dinosaur bones in North Dakota. The bones they found were donated to the museum.

When Rich isn’t making pens, writing articles, fishing or hunting, he likes to take his metal detector out.

He and Susie enjoy searching for lost treasures.

Susie found an old bell that was made in the 1700s.

She thinks that is probably the oldest thing they have found.

Rich dug up a coin from 1803 and a old penny in mint condition.

They are always looking for new places to explore.

“We never leave home with out our metal detector” Rich said.

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