The do-it-yourself coffin

Photo courtesy of Steve Hemmingsen.

Our man in Hendricks, Steve Hemmingsen, writes today to pass along the wintertime work of Don Buller, who is spending his time working on his coffin:

As you know, the folks down there in Buller Township (AKA New Grove) march to their own drummer. When most farmers think of field work, Doug and Linda Buller are thinking vegetables. Dwight and Peggy Buller, in addition to farming, always have some sort of mission work on their horizon. Then, around the corner, on a dead-end road, there’s Don Buller, the former buffalo rancher. You might describe Don as extravagantly cheap. For the last year or so, he’s been designing some cheaper “packaging:” his own…coffin.

Acting on a tip, I popped into to Don’s shop just as he was putting the finishing touches on his walnut home for eternity. What prompted this venture? Don sums it up in one word: money. After he went to a funeral that cost $13,000, he decided he could do it cheaper himself. A year and many chain-smoked cigarettes later (and he rolls his own to save money) he has.

I asked him: “What if after all this, it’s an inch too short?”

Good point. He climbed in and gave the box a “fitting.” Don still plans to add about six inches of padding and leave enough room for a six pack of Pepsi.

Those cigarettes, those coffin nails? He says he’ll probably quit them… when the time comes.

Don, put this off as long as you can. This is just too nice a piece of furniture to just bury, although he already tells me he has his plot picked out. He might even take that deer antler pen I made him years ago as a gift from his wife. Along with getting ahead of the game for the hereafter, Don has also made a lot of furniture for the here-and-now, for his log home.

Photo courtesy of Steve Hemmingsen. Steve Hemmingsen has a look. Cautiously. Photo courtesy of Steve Hemmingsen.