FAYETTE, MO -- A lawn mower, Mountain Dew and tin foil are just a few of the props Norm Rohlfing uses to make movies. 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.
He made the cannon 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." The Deacon and its crew have appeared in movies like "Glory" and "North and South", about a half a dozen motion pictures in all.
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.
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