First Posted: 1/6/2014
Floyd Trudgen has found a way to use rocks to help others by taking his love of Pennsylvania fieldstone and adding that to his wish to serve those who need help.
Trudgen, a lifelong resident of the Back Mountain, owns a 41-acre property in Dallas which he shares with his wife, Cindy, a native of the Harding/Falls area.
The property the Trudgens have owned for about 15 years has large amounts of Pennsylvania fieldstone. Fieldstone is not quarried, but is collected from the surface of fields where it occurs naturally.
One day, Trudgen decided to make a candle holder out of a rock, taking the idea from his admiration for Robin Roberts who appears on “Good Morning, America!” Trudgen was inspired by Roberts’ battles with cancer so he made a rock candle for her. The rock candle is a large stone with a hole drilled out in such a way that it can hold a votive candle or can be used as an oil lamp with a wick.
“I lit a candle and said a prayer for her,” Trudgen sasid of Roberts. The original candle holds a place of honor in their home.
But then Trudgen decided to make more rock candles.
In November, he invited guests to a party at his home and asked guests to purchase one of his rock candle sculptures for $25. He then donated $12 of that to Candy’s Place in Forty Fort, a place that provides a variety of services to support and care for those who are battling cancer.
Trudgen raised $800 at the party.
Trudgen has even thought up a motto for his product: “Rock on. Keep on Trudgen.”
It’s not unusual for Trudgen to ask his party guests to help others as the previous year, he asked guests to bring food items for flood victims.
A visit to the family home shows Trudgen’s love for the fieldstone which surrounds him as his yard is landscaped with it. He has created a large outdoor space around his home which includes a spa, swimming pool and several large patios, as well as walkways and stairs.
He also uses the stone in the landscaping business which he and his wife operate They have run their business, Cindy Trudgen’s Lawn Care, for 25 years. floyd does the stonework, excavating and landscaping while Cindy does the artistic design.
Trudgen also decided to take tall, upstanding boulders from his property and turn them into torches. He said that, unlike bamboo tiki torches which don’t last, his boulder torches are permanent.
Making a rock candle requires a trip into the woods on his property to find stones and the drilling of each rock takes about a half an hour.
Cindy, a freelance artist, says her husband comes up with something new all the time. “Every day he comes up with a new idea for something.”
But she feels that he will go with the candles for a while. “We would love to put them in specialty shops,” she added
Trudgen would like to continue to make his rock candles for good causes. He said, “I have a product that’s free to me that I can sell and help other people.”