Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 51

family divided up the assets. " They ran across an old iron
skillet that no one wanted, " he says. " For some reason they
thought I ought to have it. I really wasn't that interested
and didn't know how to use it. "
At the age of 70, he decided to give it a try and it wasn't
long before he was fully invested. " I started cooking with
them and halfway learning what to do, " the Farmers'
Electric member says. " Then I went down to Tennessee
and met with the folks at Lodge and they were such great
people. I started going to auctions and collecting iron is
just like other things, it's addictive. Once you start buying
it's hard to quit. "
Harold and then-Lodge CEO Bob Kellerman became fast
friends on one of Harold's early trips to their headquarters
in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. Harold brought with him
a photo of a wooden Lodge display rack he picked up from
an antique shop that now houses a small part of his collection. An employee showed that to Bob and he promptly
found Harold and gave him a hug and an " I love you,
man! " by way of introduction.
" I had no idea who he was, " Harold says with a laugh.
" I guess he helped design those
racks forever ago and didn't
think there were any left. We got
to talking and have been buddies since. "
It's been a partnership Harold has treasured. Before the
COVID-19 pandemic, he visited
Lodge three or four times per
year. He's been a speaker at the
annual National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg and was
featured in a video on Lodge's
Facebook and YouTube pages.
" From the beginning I wanted
to learn about their company.
There used to be 200-plus cast
iron companies in the U.S., now
it's really just about one, " he

says. " They've been through depressions and world wars
when you couldn't get iron, but they stayed in business.
It's because they're all one big family. "
While his collection is vast, Harold is especially proud of
some of the more rare items, such as the Lodge lids with
raised numbers indicating the corresponding skillet size.
" I've only seen three of these 14s with the raised lids in my
lifetime, and they're all in this house, " he says, moving to
the next item. " These are hard to come by. There's a 10
here. And a raised 12 over here. "
Harold's current favorites are his size 13 lids. " There's
some other pieces that I don't have but wish I did, " he says
with a grin. " I thought they were too high about 15 years
ago and I was just dumb enough not to buy them. "
He still cooks daily with his cast iron, relying on a much
smaller-scale collection just off his farmhouse kitchen. " I
don't own a piece that I wouldn't be willing to throw on the
stove or in the oven and cook with it, " he says. " If I'm not
ready to eat out of it, I won't collect it. "
Including his friends in South Pittsburgh, Harold keeps
in touch with other cast iron enthusiasts from across the
country. While he says they
may vie against each other to
snatch up those rare prized possessions, they are a tight-knit
group.
" My cast iron friends are
some of my closest, we talk all
the time, " he says. " We compete
like heck, but we're all friends
and help each other. It's the
darndest group I've ever been
around. "
Adds Harold: " I tell people
I suffer from almost perfect
health. If I'm lucky enough I'll
be 86 years old in April. I have
a wonderful family and host
of friends. Life couldn't be any
better. "

Above: Harold's collection includes some of the smallest and biggest
cast-iron skillets you can find. Left: His basement is filled with castiron from many different brands, including now-defunct Griswold Manufacturing. Top: Harold cooks with his cast-iron skillets and pots daily.
MARCH 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

March21_Cast Iron Collector.indd 2

51

2/11/21 10:33 AM


http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 8
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 9
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 10
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 11
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 12
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 13
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 14
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 15
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 16
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 17
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 18
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 19
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 20
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 21
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 22
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 23
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 24
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 25
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 26
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 27
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 28
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 29
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 30
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 31
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 32
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 33
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 34
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 35
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 36
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 37
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 38
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 39
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 40
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 41
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 42
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 43
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 44
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 45
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 46
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 47
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 48
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 49
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 50
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 51
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 52
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 53
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 54
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 55
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 56
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 57
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 58
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com