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Couple retired for 18 days then started 2nd career

4:01 PM, Mar 15, 2013   |    comments
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A couple settled in East Tennessee after retiring and started a new career.

John Baxter said, "I retired the 29th day of February and the 18th day of March we were down here. We're from Ohio. And been here ever since." :

Ever since then they've been in Gatlinburg, a place they've called home for 29 years.

"Actually when we moved down here I was going to do a wood shop in the back I was going to do wood," he said.

John Baxter changed his mind and switched to glass.

He and his wife Donna both took classes to learn their craft.

"It's fun to do. Get something done and it looks real nice you feel kind of proud," he said.

Now they sit across the table from each other every day and make pieces to sell in their shop Baxter's Stained Glass.

"I do the copper foil method where you use copper foil to put around each piece to hold your solder. It's on their to hole your solder in place. And John does the lead came which is the old time method," Donna Baxter said. "We do mostly small sun catcher type things and small window panels."

Even if they use the same pattern for the pieces each one turns out a little different.

"When you do things by hand they're never exactly the same," she said.

A day at the office is never exactly the same. In this tourist area they always meet new customers and they said that's the best part of the job.

"Visiting with the customers. The customers come in and most all of then we visit with. They're from all over the world when they walk in you never know where they're from. And that's what I enjoy about it," John said.

Donna said, "We have people who have been coming back for all the time we've been here every year. And they still do. But I think maybe they're just seeing if we're still on our feet."

After starting a new career 29 years ago they've never seriously considered retiring.

Donna said, "I like to keep busy and this keeps you busy."

John said, "What in the world are you going to do? Sit around and rust out."

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