Wealth of Our Community

Sawdust and Sweat

The Wealth of Community Series:  Steven Cox

Forward by WT Cox

Everyone has a story to tell, but only a few people have the ability or choose to take the time to put that story into words.  It is hard to write a book, even a short one.  I know, because that is something I have aspired to do for a long time.  I admire people who with dedication and commitment, have actually managed to complete a novel.   Personal feelings and “matters of the heart” are the hardest to put into words and onto paper.  Each paragraph has special meaning and pulls an emotional cord within the writer.  One such person who has been able to take memorable events from his life experiences and put them into print is   Steven Cox.  

Steven currently lives just off Hwy. 42 near Coleridge, NC.  He is married to Cheryl, daughter of Odell (deceased) and Ruby Perryman of Ramseur.  Son of (deceased parents) J.D. and Hazel Cox of North Georgia.  Steven moved to Ramseur in 1998.  His first paid construction job was in 1973 and he has 47 years of experience in the construction industry.  A carpenter by trade and a rather proficient stone artisan.  He also works from time to time as a construction consultant and became a licensed contractor from 1988 to the present.  Currently serving as the Senior Field  Engineer/Representative for Statesville Stained Glass Restoration & Preservation of Statesville, North Carolina.

Sawdust and Sweat

     “Everyone has a book in um.”  I really cannot recall the first time I heard this saying or who said it.  But there was something about this phrase which resonated.

     Constrained by Love

     Very early in life, a Gideon gave me a gift.  It was a little red New Testament.  He told our class to take the book home and read it.  Occasionally, I did what I was told.  So, I took the little book home and began reading it.  This little book became my treasure.  Each night, at bedtime, I would read the words found therein.  I would mark with a pencil what I had read.  The central character of this little book became my hero.  To be sure, my parents were the most important people in my life.  But this central character made such an impression on me. The desire to be like Him has never left me. 

     Tempered by Fire

     So many variables contribute to who we are and who we become.  Born and raised in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia, I was blessed to have a very “in the woods and dirt” upbringing.  I have been asked, “How were you raised? In what class of folk, we’re you, lower, middle, or upper?” I would say, 1st class!  We raised goats and chickens, drew water from the well, knew well the path to our grandparents “out house,” and how to grow a garden. I learned to hunt and trap, identify plants and trees, distinguish between good critters and bad.  It was bred in us. If you needed something, you built it, made it, sewed it, butcher it, clean it, grew it, bandaged it, invented it, etc…You get the picture.  So fortunate was I, to live in America in a time when Americans were truly free!  We had very little, but yet, we had everything.  My grandparents, whom I was greatly privileged to spend a good deal a time with, knew a hard life.  The memories of their grit, their “toughness,” permanently imbedded a “can do philosophy of living” in me.

     Sawdust and Sweat

     Sawdust and Sweat is the product of the Love I am constrained by found in that little red book and the tempering of my life’s experiences. The inspiration for the title as well as the contents, I believe with my whole heart, came from my Heavenly Father.  The intentional black and white cover gives a glimpse of the book’s essence.  One of the considerations for the book was, how can we put the truth of the little red book into the hands of a person who, for whatever reason, would not take up that book and read it for themselves?  Sawdust and Sweat is four hundred and eight pages of practical, straight shooting, easy to read, philosophical, spiritual, educational, and hopefully inspirational life lessons.  The book has been shipped to pretty much all fifty states as well several countries.  It is my honor to introduce to you, “Sawdust and Sweat.”  

You can purchase Sawdust and Sweat on-line at Amazon or email the author Steven Cox at:

Bio by Steven Cox.  

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