Monday, September 1, 2008

It's not for naught.


One of the things that I really like about writing this blog, is every now and then somebody really “gets It”. They know exactly what you are talking about, and it will bring back some memories for them, or fill in some of what they missed. Every now and then I think that; wow, I just wasted a whole bunch of time writing that, because nobody gets it, and nobody knows what I’m talking about. Then I get a letter like the following, and it adds to my memories and expands some of what I said. The lady below knows what I mean about the loggers that had a song in their hearts and it came out every Saturday night. Thanks for writing Nancy. there are still a lot of old loggers that still live here. If you have any logging tales that you would like to share with us, please dive in. anytime, or anyplace is appropriate. We don’t stand on any form of formality on this blog.

She left her reply on the post "Jolly Johns Gyp Joint"


Nancy said...
“I'm writing my late husband's bio for the grandkids. He was one of the Arkies that arrived in Garbervile in 1951 with sawmill experience from Van Buren Co, Arkansas (Dennard,Clinton). After the Army tamed him, I met him at SRJC. (I was born and raised in Sonoma County.) He died in 1990 and I loved reading your account because it fleshes out my memories of his stories. At one point during the workless days of rainy wintertime, he played in a band in one of these joints. "We'd pass the hat..only to learn later the clinking sounds were pennies, nuts, bolts, washers.. etc. When the fight started, and it always started, we'd throw our instruments under the table and get in front of them. Our skin would grow back, but them instruments were hard to replace. I recall he talked about Sprowel Creek and living at Layontonville once. He was fond of saying, "If you didn't like the mill you worked for you could quit,take your dinner pail and have a better job before dinner (Arkie name for lunch).I know that Garberville was the center of the universe during those years. In 1972 I found an envelope in Dennard, Arkansas home we had just bought from another Arkie who worked on Sprowel Creek. The envelope's return address was a Garberville accountant who did the taxes for the Arkie. The accountant was the older brother of my next door neighbor in Petaluma, CA. Small world in 1952..I knew the accountant. In 1962I married the Arkies. In 1972 I found the letter that link us all together.Most of these Arkies moved down to Willets before 1954. So glad to find this blog through Google. My dad loved fishing the Eel River and we vacationed at Richardson Grove. I remember driving old 101 in our 39 Chevy with huge log trucks with ONE log hugging us on all sides. Nancy , Ark.”

5 comments:

Ernie Branscomb said...

The accountants name wasn't Waterhouse was it?

lodgepole said...

Ahhh, the threads that tie us together. It is a small small world.

EkoVox said...

Great Story from that gal.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Ekovox wrote a nice little piece on "Okie Music" (No kidding, That's what it was called when I was a kid!)

Here it is

Ernie Branscomb said...

The people that worked in the woods or the mills were usually known from the state that they came from. There were "Okies and "Arkies", they called the people from Texas "Tex" or "Cowboy", they called Oregonians "Webfoot", they called the people from Nevada “Nevada”. I guess that they couldn’t come up with any cute nicknames. They called one person that was from Missouri “Show me”. The Native Californian workers were called “Prune-Pickers”, which I didn’t understand as a kid, but when I became more worldly, I came to understand that these were the names that the working class of people had for each other, and the California worker was known for picking the prune crops that were very prevalent in the San Jose Valley.

The thing that was different then, as compared to now, is that I never met a person back then, that had a nickname, that wasn’t proud of it, or proud of what they were. They were for the most part “hard working, hard drinking, and hard playing” people that loved their “Okie Music” and their “Honkey-Tonk Bars“.