Acquisition No.: 1975-04
Title: Tools; Masonry Tools and Bag, Raymond Orndorff.
Item History:

Vincent B. Orndorff (1877-1934) was a mason from Bonneauville, PA. His accomplishments included brick and stonework on St. Joseph's Church in Bonneauville, PA and Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in McSherrystown, PA. (See Acq. No. 2001-18). Vincent's son, Raymond B. Orndorff (1900-1974) carried on his father's trade. His life's work included the years and hard times of the Great Depression (See Acq. No. 2013-79). It was having to raise a large family during those extremely difficult years that Raymond attributed his spendthrift ways. At his death many years later, his tool shed beautifully demonstrated his concern for every penny. Jars of used nails and spools of used wire shared space with balls of second-hand twine and rope wound around hand-carved wooden sticks with "V" notches to secure the loose ends. Used tin cans of old bolts and screws sat in rows. On the floor sat his heavy, stained and patched bag of masonry tools. He could have purchased a new canvas tool bag long before he retired from his trade. But his was repairable. "Waste not, want not." His masons tools; hammers, trowels and chisels were heavily worn.

Raymond's spine was always painfully curved to one side. He was a living tribute to a lifetime of hard work and dedication to family. Mr. Orndorff could neither have conceived or comprehended today's throw-away mentality.

After living at 2 W. Hanover Street for much of his married life (the building is now an apartment), Raymond Orndorff build a brick house at 6 W. Hanover Street. The house was built primarily from used material. An old brick schoolhouse was being torn down in the county. He acquired used materials from the schoolhouse and wherever he could find them. Old mortar was individually chipped from each of the bricks and they were reused. Lumber from the obsolete school building was also reused. Crooked nails were straightened. Anywhere he could gather used lumber, he did.

Until his last day of driving an automobile (a salmon and white 1951 Ford sedan,), he always shifted from first to third gear on downgrades. The habit saved him perhaps one cent worth of gas. Ultimately, the success and accomplishments of he and his wife's children, were defined by Raymond and Myrtle's hard work and frugality.

I recall that late in his life, my grandfather dug the footer for he and his wife Myrtle's tombstone by hand. He then mixed and poured the concrete by hand to save more money. He literally carried his frugile ways that were hard learned during the Great Depression and a meager childhood, to his grave.

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Location: Case VI
Acq. Date: 1975
Acquired from: Myrtle Kane Orndorff
Price ($): gifted
Type: accession
Curator: ckrc