Wednesday, August 6, 2014
There's something incredibly attractive about a guy that always has a smile on his face, says Paul Heinauer, owner of Glasspro. So, when he met Red Wood of Sullivan's Island seven years ago, he was immediately drawn to the man.
They met at Stella Maris Church on the island and Heinauer watched Wood giving people a thumbs up and always stopping to speak.
Their friendship blossomed and Heinauer started giving Wood a ride to church.
“Through that I got to know him better and saw what a wonderful family man he was and is and how the impact he has had on Sullivan's Island has helped shape the community,” said Heinauer.
Wood was the founder of the volunteer fire and rescue service, served for years on town council and was mayor pro-tem for a great deal of time. His contributions run the gamut.
Over two years ago, Wood's approach changed a tad. He began posting thoughts of the day on a sign in his yard on Middle Street where he has lived for 64 years.
Each week, he'd change them out, and so began his routine.
Wood was a subscriber to Reminisce Magazine for 15 years, and throughout the publication's pages would be a thought for the day. This inspired Wood to share those tidbits of wisdom with his neighbors.
Some of these quotations are common sense; some of them are humourous, and some are political. All are meant to inspire thought, said Wood. The signs have become an island institution and folks regularly drive by just to read them.
Wood began recycling those thoughts of the day by passing them on to Heinauer after he commented to Wood about how much he liked them.
“I loved them, but I didn't know what to do with them,” said Heinauer. “I felt like I had some sort of responsibility and thought maybe I'd put them up in the house. But my wife and I started talking and she said, 'Why don't you hang them at Glasspro?'”
Now, the wisdom of Red Wood hangs on a plaque at the Mount Pleasant Glasspro store in the reception area of Glasspro's auto glass repair center, complete with pictures of Wood from various stages of his life.
“He just has a goodness about him that is so attractive,” said Heinauer. “I also saw what a great husband he was, and quite frankly, he's such an incredible role model and someone who I aspire to be. He has people's respect and admiration.”
The most recent saying Wood offered Heinauer is “Parents who say no have productive children.”
Employees at Glasspro point out the messages to customers, spreading the word of Red Wood even further than the islanders who pass by his home.
Wood said the signs in front of his house have become so popular that he had a little boy come to his door one day and point to his mother in the car out front and say, “My mom wanted to meet you.”
A favorite quote of Wood's is “Friendship is not one big thing but a lot of little things.” He took the saying and created Christmas cards for his loved ones last year.
“Most of the sayings are philosophical,” said Wood. “I want to wake people up and get them to think.”
And at 91 years old, Wood has done a lot of his own thinking through the years. The sayings he displays are what he has learned from himself, he explained.
“Art on the Beach and Chefs in the Kitchen” is Creative Sparks annual fundraiser held on the island featuring a tour of homes, artwork and food. Wood's home was chosen to be featured in the most recent event, as were his sayings which were matted and framed.
His daughter Emma Shuman has three of them displayed in her family's home. One says, “If you want your words to carry weight, you must weigh them carefully.”
Another says, “Everything comes to those that hustle while they wait.”
Many of the quotes used are borrowed from other sources, but Wood makes up quite a few on his own.
“Red considers himself a blessed man which he obviously is,” said Heinauer. “Those around him have been blessed even more.”
Heinauer explained that his own favorite proverb is “One who refreshes others will themselves be refreshed,” and Red embodies that. “I am really proud to call him a friend,” Heinauer added.
Glasspro in Mount Pleasant is located at 1407 Stuart Engals Blvd.