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Supervisors' Clerk Gives Rein to Her Passion for Carving Carrousel Horses

December 21, 1987|Herbert J. Vida

"Women are becoming aware they can do anything they want to," said Markay C. Eason, 36, which is why she's a wood carver and restorer of carrousel horses besides working as a deputy clerk for the Board of Supervisors. "I'm self-sufficient. I just do it."

And that includes pouring cement for her patio and building the patio roof at her Santa Ana home.

"I think the wood part of it is hereditary," Eason said. Her father was a master carpenter who helped her learn to appreciate good wood and how to use it, she said.

"Throughout time, women have been less prone to do things that require heavy work," she said. But, "I can run just about any woodworking machine there is."

Her garage serves as her workshop where she is about to complete a scale model of a carrousel horse she designed. Although she's skilled enough, "I would have to hustle to make a living at it," Eason said. "But that's not what I want. I just want to have fun carving something out of wood."

And mainly, that fun is making new carrousel horses and restoring old ones, although she occasionally makes other wood sculptures for gifts.

"Operating carrousels are diminishing and people, especially collectors, are becoming aware of it," she said. "The horses are another art form and might be lost if we don't preserve them."

The American Carrousel Society and the National Carrousel Assn. are trying to save full carrousels, she said, "but whole or part, the art form itself has to be saved. A lot of guys spent huge numbers of hours carving them."

Her wood carving began seven years ago after she saw a watercolor of a carrousel horse and later located the actual wood horse. "I couldn't believe anyone could carve a horse like that out of wood," she said.

Blessed with natural skills--"I've always been creative but I didn't focus on art classes"--Eason created her own carrousel horse and later learned how to restore old ones. She gets jobs from referrals of satisfied collectors. She remembers an exhibit she entered where she heard a group of women talking about her work. "Well, look at this," she heard them say. "A woman made this."

Eason said she just smiled.

At Christmas time, the need to help sometimes overshadows the need to celebrate.

For instance, 75 employees of Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. in Santa Ana decided to forgo their customary holiday gift exchange.

"We are so grateful for our blessings . . . we decided to share our good fortunes," said spokesman Ronald Courtney. So instead of spending $7 to $10 each for a gift exchange, they put it together and gave seven needy Santa Ana families selected by the Orange County Visiting Nurses Assn. $1,000 worth of food.

Courtney suggested it would be a good idea if others did the same thing.

Kyung No Lee, a junior at Capistrano Valley High School, spelled the word "lasque" correctly to win the Rotary Club's Orange County spelling bee.

OK. Now tell us what it means.

Mark S. Bacon of Mission Viejo figures you can get anything you want by writing a letter, a very good letter.

Indeed. He wrote a publisher a very good letter and convinced him to print his book, the first he's written.

The book is titled "Write Like the Pros."

Acknowledgments--Fullerton Police Sgt. Danny Becerra, a self-described "health buff" who was named "Orange County Narcotics Officer of the Year" in 1983, was named by the Fullerton Police Officers Assn. as the department's "Officer of the Year" for 1987. He is a 10-year veteran.

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