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Waca Woodcarvings to Be Featured March 14 in Tiskilwa

Longtime Tiskilwa resident Bill Waca turned out dozens of wooden figures in a lifetime of whittling that began when he was only thirteen years old and decided to carve his favorite cartoon figure, Popeye. His sons, Charlie and Ed, will share several projected images of their favorite pieces, along with stories about unusual materials or inspirations. The Tiskilwa Historical Society invites the community to the Museum on Main for its first program of 2022 on Monday evening, March 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Bill Waca's prize-winning Clydesdale woodcarving will be one of several figures presented at the Museum on Main on March 14, beginning at 7:00 p.m. After the piece had been on display in Davenport, Iowa, for 51 years, the Mississippi Valley Fair Board returned it to the Waca family last fall.

Bill’s whimsical humor was reflected in his woodcarvings as well as in his self-appointed nickname, “The Tiskilwa Termite.” Often his wry humor poked fun at politics, including his carving depicting the rear ends of a donkey and an elephant, joined in the stomach area. Try to picture the opposite of Dr. Doolittle’s two-headed llama, or come on down and see it for yourself.

One of his sons’ proudest possessions is the prize-winning 1970 Clydesdale entry at the Mississippi Valley Fair, held in Davenport, Iowa. The unusual backstory is that, to form the figure, Bill fused together two thick walnut planks from a local horse barn that was being razed. Other carvings include scrimshaw he created while stationed in Alaska during World War II.

There is no admission charge for the program, but a free-will offering will be gratefully accepted. Following the program, a social time with refreshments will be held in Gallery 1 so that audience members can visit with friends and neighbors now that a long winter is in the rear-view mirror.


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