Presidents, Generals, Country Stars, Quarterbacks and Kids
Just north of Longview, Bob and Mollie Benson are putting their craftsmanship to good use. When Bob is not riding the train as a conductor, you will find him in his shop working, carving or painting. Wait, Mollie is the painter.
When the Benson’s started their business, Buckles and Boards in 1987, they had no idea who their hobby would bring them in contact with. The first Bootrocker that was made for a celebrity went to Coach Tom Landry. Bob has also made chairs for the other Cowboy coaches plus Emmit Smith, Michael Irvin and Randy White. Troy Aikman ordered Bootrockers for his offensive linemen with their jersey numbers on them. Last year, Dexter Coakley ordered rockers for his linebackers that were also personalized. East Texas newspapers did a story on the Dallas Cowboy rockers and gave Bob the nickname of “Chairman of Da Boys.”
Benson has also had the privilege of making rockers for both President Bushes, General Norman Schwarzkopf and General Tommy Franks.
Bog’s love for woodcarving is evident in all of his work. It may be in a stepstool, a birdhouse, a santa or in a wooden flower that he makes for children at hospitals. His love for kids is evident in his work with Neal McCoy’s East Texas Angel Network, American Cancer Society’s Little Wranglers and the A.R.C.’s Walk a Mile for a Special Child. Rockers are donated and auctioned off to raise money for these children. The celebrities that come to these events are presented with personalized rockers so that they will have a little bit of Texas. Some of these stars have been Charley Pride, Toby Keith, Joe Diffie, Martina McBride, Sammy Kershaw, Lone Star, Rick Trevino and Pam Tillis.
Bob’s talent has been recognized by winning the Wood Magazine “Build a Toy” contest five times. He and his son, Casey, are the only father-son team to win the Best Carved Toy contest. Bob has been featured on “Proud of East Texas” with Joan Hallmark and FOX 4 News “Hometown Hero” with Clarice Tinsley.