Big Shot in Fayette

1 decade 11 months 2 days ago Tuesday, November 13 2007 Nov 13, 2007 Tuesday, November 13, 2007 1:00:14 AM CST November 13, 2007 in News

Norm Rohlfing has worked with the likes of Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick. But few compare to a star named, "The Deacon."

A lawn mower, Mountain Dew and tin foil are just a few of the props Norm Rohlfing uses to make movies.

"Haven't used them in a while," said Rohlfing.

One day, we found him searching for something in his shop. With peanut butter and tin foil on his desk, you might think Norm was fixing a snack. But these aren't your average Ding Dongs; these are blueprints from the Smithsonian.

What Norm made with those blue prints will blow you away. His reproduction of a civil war cannon doesn't shoot Ding Dongs. The foil is filled with black powder.

"It was '80 and my boy rode in the cavalry. And he said, 'Daddy why don't you make a cannon?' So that winter I made one," explained Rohlfing.

With raw lumber and iron that he forged himself.

"He could just be retired and sit on the porch but that's not Norm," said Hal McNeal, Norm's friend. "Norm was bored. He found some blueprints and he said, 'I think we can do this,' and we did."

Norm and his crew, some of them pastors, call the cannon "The Deacon."

"Because its bark is worse than its bite."

The Deacon and its crew have appeared in movies like "Glory" and "North and South" and about a half a dozen motion pictures in all.

Perhaps Norm was always destined for fame. We found a picture in his basement resembling Bing Crosby.

Norm is 78 years old, has made a half dozen cannons, and his recipe for ding dongs is dynamite.

You may never see Norm's face on the big screen, but now we all know this Fayette farmer is a big shot.

Norm worked in artillery during the Korean War.

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