CRESTVIEW — A Crestview native followed his passion for woodworking and has turned it into a living, creating what many people deem as masterpieces.
David Hoover, 56, graduated from Crestview High School where he excelled in art classes. According to Hoover, he has been an artist since he was a child and he has mainly expressed his passion through drawing and painting. Hoover mostly paints rock 'n’ roll album covers, which he said he enjoys.
Recently, Hoover realized he had another talent — woodworking. It all started when a company that delivered sod to the home of him and his girlfriend, Linda Laverne, failed to pick up the leftover pallets. Laverne said that she carried the pallets to the back yard, tired of having them by the road, and Hoover decided to take them apart and make a birdhouse.
“I saw something was there, and I said, ‘I can do something with this,’” Hoover said. The couple then searched high and low for old pallets and usable pieces of fencing to create more birdhouses.
Hoover created several birdhouses, which he sold on Highway 85. One day, while looking for a job in construction, Hoover stumbled upon K&R Cuts and Landscaping and applied for a position. According to Laverne, Hoover was amazed by the woodwork in the showroom of the business.
Hoover came back later with some birdhouses he had built, and the owner bought them to sell in his showroom. The owner, Kenneth Bray, who is a pastor at the Pentecostals of Baker Church, asked Hoover to build him a small church, which then he bought, as well. After approximately a month, Bray called Hoover and offered him a job at his store.
Mandi Owen, K&R’s office manager, said they hired Hoover because the uniqueness of his work stood out to them.
“I build furniture, little-bitty artwork, and big pieces of art work,” Hoover said. “Sometimes it’ll take a week, some things I can do in 30 minutes. As far as inspiration goes, I do things that will fit in [K&R’s] showroom.”
Laverne said she knew Hoover was talented even before they began a relationship more than two years ago. The couple met when Hoover was doing construction for Laverne’s neighbor. They bonded over their mutual love for Led Zeppelin, and Hoover showed Laverne a photo of the band-related painting he had done.
Since Hoover began woodworking, Laverne has claimed some pieces as her favorites, which include a large birdhouse and a fall-themed piece.
“A two-story birdhouse that has a captain’s wheel on the front of it … he named that one 'Old Cervantes' because it reminded him of old buildings in Pensacola,” Laverne said. “A couple of times, when times were really hard and we had his birdhouses out there for sale, we put 'Old Cervantes' in the sale only for me to turn around and put it back in my truck and bring it home.
"I just love it so much; I couldn’t bear to part with it.”