Monday, January 14, 2008

Robin Shelly, made this comment.

My new found old friend that don’t remember, made this comment. (Sorry, I’m Sure I will remember when we meet again. She must have been to young to notice when I lived in Laytonville. I always liked older girls)

“Sometimes during a real cold spell in Laytonville, your uncle Ben would set a sprinkler on one of his bare trees near the highway overnight &, by morning, the thing would be covered with huge & beautiful sparkling icicles. It would literally stop traffic! We ran a picture of it in the newspaper more than once, I think.”
Robin Shelly.

I hope you don’t mind that I make a posting out of your comment, but I do remember him doing that. He would spend a good part of the night getting the water flow just right. Too much water and it would melt, not enough and it wouldn’t make icicles. I’ll bet my cousin Penny has some photos. I’ll see if I can get her to post them.
Uncle Ben discovered how to make an icicle tree by accident. As you may know, Ben had a sawmill about four miles north of Laytonville, back in the Fifties. On really cold nights they had to keep the water running to the water tower, to keep the pipes from freezing. The water cooled the saws when the mill was running during the day. There was about a twelve foot fir tree that grew beside the tower, and the overflow would splash on one of the tower crossbeams spaying the tree with mist. It was on of the most beautiful sights that one could ever see when the sun shined through it. It was pure and clean, and just plain beautiful. My uncle Ben decided that the only way to tell people how pretty it was, was to make his own tree next to the highway. He really enjoyed watching people screech to a stop, back up and take a picture. It was as pretty as a crystal chandelier.


robin shelley said...

The ice tree was, indeed, a spectacular sight! I would take the long way home just so I could drive by & look at it again. Penny is so organized & meticulous about things that I have no doubt she'll find a picture for you. Look forward to seeing it.
I don't believe we've ever met, Ernie, so don't apologize for not remembering me. But we will meet one of these days... in the shade of those beautiful old oak trees down at Harwood Park maybe?
Nice post.
Robin ShellEy

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ah Yes, the Old-Timers Day Picnic and Baseball Game. I haven’t missed one in years. My cousin Roy is distressed that it is not as popular as it once was. He say’s that it’s a real opportunity for the whole town, and all of the Old-Timers to get together, and they should be there.

All of the local politicians are still there, so it must be considered an important event to them.

Although the Barbequed chicken is still good, I miss the days when they would marinade it for 24 hours in Garlic, sauterne wine, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and butter. Then slow roast it over a black oak charcoal fire. That was gourmet chicken. Maybe it’s just a matter of preference, I don’t know.

When I was a kid the event was so big that they even had a deep pit beef barbeque, just to feed everyone. It was the town event of the year.