The Transylvania Times -

Chuck Evans Is Truly A Jack Of All Trades

 

November 12, 2018

Chuck Evans

Former Navy Lieutenant Chuck Evans, a jack of all trades, is now creating wood furniture in Brevard after flying the A-7 jet airplane and having a career as a broker at Merrill Lynch.

"You remember every single night time approach you have, but you don't always remember the daytime flight ops," Evans said about landing the jet airplanes on carriers in the dark. "It's a gut wrenching experience every time you do it, but even with that you get pretty good at it."

The connection between flying and making tables and chairs is a conceptual one.

Evans said, "In both instances you are stressed to do your best. And if you don't do your best, you don't get back on the ship or you don't sell any furniture."

Evans does not consider his woodworking to be a job.

He said, "I consider it my art."

Chuck Evans and his wife, Lynn Evans, decided to make Brevard home in 2013 after completing a nine-year voyage sailing around the world.

Evans visited the Appalachian area with his son's Boy Scout group in the 1970s.

"We knew that we wanted to live in these mountains somewhere," Evans said. "But of course, we had not seen the towns as being a Boy Scout leader; we had only seen the campgrounds."

Chuck and Lynn stayed at the Sunset Motel while driving to surrounding areas looking for a home. After two weeks of driving around, the Evanses realized that, "We were not going to find any place better than Brevard."

There were other reasons for moving to the area, such as the local wood.

"I wanted to be able to use Appalachian hardwoods along with locally sourced maple and others," Evans said.

Currently, Evans shows his work at the Number 7 Arts gallery located on Brevard's Main Street. Evans calls his work, "mid century design" in concept. It is a style that was popular between the 1950s and the 1970s. His works include tables, chairs and lamps made from the burls, or knots, on trees.

Evans said, "What makes a piece mid-century modern is simplicity of design and no embellishment or decorations of any sorts. It's a 'let the wood speak for itself' idea."

Evans does not make any two pieces alike; each is different and unique. He also does not keep a favorite piece.

He said, "My favorite piece is the one where the last coat of varnish is drying."

The passion of woodworking comes from Evans' junior high school.

"I think back about my woodshop teacher, Mr. Lawson, and wonder what he would think about my current work," Evans said.

It is no surprise that Evans can pinpoint this creative passion to a specific moment from his youth. The same can be seen for his passion in flying jet airplanes in the Navy, his job with Merrill Lynch and with his nine years sailing across the world with his wife.

"Ambition was never a problem for me," Evans said.

Growing up with a father in the Navy, Evans knew he wanted to follow a similar path. Evans settled on flying jet airplanes after watching the John Wayne movie, "Jet Pilot."

Evans majored in marketing in school.

"I chose the thing I figured I could get through school quickly with, so I could get on to what I wanted to do, which was flying Navy airplanes," he said.

Evans was on active duty for a total of seven years and racked up 1,000 flight hours, 300 landings on the JFK aircraft carrier and another 25 to 30 landings on other carriers for training and other tasks.

Most of the active time was spent in the Mediterranean Sea on the JFK with six months on cruise and six months at home.

After the Vietnam war, Evans was stationed in Kingsville, Texas, with duties of a flight instructor and working on a flight simulator.

In April 1976, Evans published an article in the Navy magazine, "Approach," analyzing the flight simulator.

He wrote, "After a short period of instruction, it was evident that the students who had had several hops in the simulator were, to a significant degree, outperforming those who had not."

Evans called this flight simulator the "grandfather" to the simulators that society now uses in video games and on our phones.

Evans said, "The hardest thing to get right was adapting the flight dynamics of the simulator to accurately simulate the flight dynamics of a real plane."

In 1976 Evans was looking to either stay in the Navy and have a job not in aviation or exit the Navy. His answer came after meeting a journalist on a flight for a news article. After the flight, Evans learned that the journalist also worked for Merrill Lynch. After seven years in the Navy, Evans was excited to pursue another passion.

It was in his high school years that Evans found a passion in the business section of the newspaper.

"I always had an interest in business, commerce, and the stock market," Evans said. "So, it wasn't a giant leap from having that interest into deciding that I wanted to work at the biggest and most well-known of the brokerage houses."

Evans worked at Merrill Lynch for almost 19 years, primarily in Atlanta, but also in south Texas. He then transferred to the Bank of America in Augusta, Ga. and worked there for 10 years before deciding to sail around the world.

Evans said, "Your most important job is managing investment risk. I said this to everyone."

This can be seen not only in his broker career but in his other passions.

The A-7, which Evans flew while in the Navy.

Following the pattern of finding passions, Evans had seen the, "Windjammer" movie with his second-grade class in the 1950s.

"And just like with 'Jet Pilot,' I thought, I wanna sail boats," Evans said.

And that is just what they did. Chuck and Lynn spent nine years at sea.

"I am very fortunate to be able to do the things I always wanted to do," Evans said.

Brevard has become their home, but the Evanses still have travel plans. A recent trip in their Airstream took them to Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Evans mentioned planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

(Welch is a student at Brevard College and interns at The Transylvania Times.)

 
 

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