Seven members of the Pounding Fathers met recently. Sitting, from left, are Harold Halfin and Ted Wiehe. Standing, from left, are John Perri, Hank Thomas, Ray Barlow, Howard Lee and Lee Smalley.
The Founding Fathers are known in America as the men who wrote the U.S. Constitution and helped shape the world’s most powerful democracy. The Pounding Fathers, as they’ve become known in Dunn County, are just trying to make their homeland a little better place to live, one nail at a time.
For about 15 years the Pounding Fathers, a group of mostly retired faculty from UW-Stout, have been offering construction and handyman services for free to local residents and mostly nonprofit organizations.
“America is still a place where people, without material rewards, can get together to do a job that needs to be done,” said Lee Smalley.
The core members of Pounding Fathers served throughout their careers as teachers at UW-Stout. “We came to Stout to serve people and solve problems, so it was a natural transition,” Smalley said.
Many of them are used to being around tools and machines. Ted Wiehe, Harold Halfin, Howard Lee and Hank Thomas all worked in machine shops on campus in industrial or technology education.
Other Pounding Fathers learned the tools of their new trade on the job. John Perri taught art and design, Ray Barlow taught philosophy and logic, and Smalley was in teacher education.
Other group members include Joe Benkowski, Dennis Ciesielski, Ken Heintz, John Hunt, Rob Wilson and John Zuerlein, all former faculty or staff, and Don Ostrum.

Summer Outlook 2012