His innate design/build skills, along with an ability to restore and creatively recycle what others cast away, struck Kertok as genius.
“I knew this guy was greatness,” he said.
Those pictures now fill a small wall in Huddleston’s living room, which also boasts a large, well-furnished dollhouse — built with dogwood “logs” from Cartwright Park and dedicated to the memory of his late wife, Joyce.
“She passed away two years ago, and I needed something to do,” he said. “I found little strips of stained glass she had wrapped up, and that was what started it.”
Huddleston’s latest project, on display at the courthouse annex in place of the absent courthouse replica, is a church building with no connection to any found nearby.
“I did some research through books and the library, and I couldn’t come up with one I liked so I made my own,” he said.
Outside the structure an airplane appears to soar — for the kids — he said, while a peek inside reveals a portrait of Jesus gazing down from the front of a lighted pew-filled sanctuary.
In typical Huddleston style there is carved wood recycled from an old chair, extra linoleum from a neighbor and carpet samples from a home improvement store — inexpensively pieced together and artfully composed.
“I do this for my benefit,” he said. “When someone else can get something out of it, that’s my blessing.
“I like to share.”