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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dave McIntosh

Born on 6-19-56
Passed  11-22-13

The last few years I have been doing a bit more than my share of bitching about getting old.  But last weekend after I completed the chores and was feeling ever older, I had a few cold beers in The Saddle Bar(n) and I started feeling a little frisky and particularly witty…, so I thought I better go into the house, log on to Facebook and have a little fun.  Yeah…, I thought I had a couple of good one-liners to post up and hope for a few “likes”.  Then I saw that an old friend, Dave McIntosh, who was four years younger than me…, wasn’t going to get any older.  The only words I could muster to another dear friend and his partner of 20 plus years were, “Oh my gosh Ellen…, oh my gosh…”.  And it still isn’t easy coming up with any words.

We called him “Snake” when he was a high school freshman playing basketball.  A little on the skinny side, mostly knees and elbows, but lightning quick, and sneaky too.  In the later years after high school, he put on a little weight and was a big, raw boned, lanky, fireball throwing fast pitch softball pitcher.  Unfortunately for our Fraser Hippie ball team…, he played for the Timber Inn from Pierce.  I’m sure it is a result of my old age and the Alzheimer’s that I can’t recall for you all the hits I used to get off him!!! Yeah…, Dave would get a laugh out of that one, for reasons I swear..., I can’t recall.  But he was easy to get a laugh out of.  In fact he was always laughing…, well…, almost always.  .  I do remember that one game when he was just learning to pitch…, and having a little bit of a control problem.  Of course our team was getting on him about it and he started getting a little frustrated, and like sharks smelling blood…, we laid it on.  You could see that he was getting mad…., and my cousin Jimmy started calling him “Mad Mac”.  Dave pretty much lost it there on the mound and said, “I’ll see you after the game Spencey!”…, and that wasn’t all he said.  When he gets up near those pearly gates on that field of dreams he is on his way to…, he’s gonna have some explaining to do about his language that day.  But after the game, he laughed it off…, and we were all real relieved.  Yeah…, he was always trying to make a joke out of everything.  He was always the life of the party…, though he wasn’t trying to be…, he was just trying to make sure that everyone was enjoying themselves as much as he was.  None did…, but it wasn’t for his lack of effort to make it so.

I never had the pleasure of working on the same logging crew with Dave…, but I have no doubt that all the glowing reports of his abilities, efforts and ethics that I heard from others in the business were true.  I can attest to the fact that he could be Johnnie on the spot and keep his cool in a pressure situation though.  I mentioned his role when I wrecked the crummy in the Robert Earl Keen story and video…, and Jimmy’s wife Debbie let me know that was only half the story.  Dave had to drive Jimmy and I on home that night.  I cropped out the missing finger on John Thompson’s left hand in the photo above…, Dave and another friend just happened to be on their way to Orofino when they happened upon the accident that resulted in the loss of that finger.  He got us to the hospital and a scene there that we needn’t describe here.  We got to have a good laugh about that one when I got to see him and John this summer out on the North Fork.

Dave wasn’t a singer or musician like the fellow in this Eagles song…, but he was certainly an entertainer who touched a lot of hearts.  So, this one’s for you Dave…, and for you too Ellenor.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

One More Mountain To Climb..., One More River To Run

While putting together the “Tribute to Julie” video I went through a lot of old pictures from back in my “running days”..., and was reminded of my feeble attempt to write some song lyrics one night at our hunting camp at Weitas Meadows.  If I had met Julie around that period of my life I would probably have been writing it for her.  The truth of the matter is..., I was wishing I had a girlfriend to write it for.  If I had known her then my life would probably have been a lot different.  Anyway..., here are the lyrics and some old pictures.

One More Mountain To Climb..., One More River To Run 
Raindrops are fallin' on this old canvas tent
Are you still wonderin' just where it was I went?
Huntin' season’s almost over, tomorrow there’ll be snow
I’m sittin’ here sippin' whiskey, wonderin' where to go?
Maybe I’ll head south, just followin’ the sun
Hope you’ll forgive me someday, for what it was I done.

There’s just one more mountain to climb, one more river to run
I’ll be back to get you babe, when I find that shinin' sun.
But I can’t be happy with you, until I’m satisfied with me
I’ll be back to get you someday, just you wait and see.

Guess I should have stayed that mornin’, just to say goodbye
But knew I couldn’t leave, if I had to watch you cry.
Remember almost drownin' in the rapids, below that rocky point?
We laughed about it later, as we passed around a joint
But that night as I held you, by the dyin' campfire light
I could feel you holdin' on just a little bit too tight.

There’s just one more mountain to climb, one more river to run
I’ll be back to get you babe, when I find that shinin' sun.
But I can’t be happy with you, until I’m satisfied with me
I’ll be back to get you someday, just you wait and see.

The horses are gettin' restless, guess it’s time to hit the trail
Next hunter headed out, I’ll have him drop this letter in the mail.
Can’t say that I would blame you, if you hate me now
But if you can hold on a little longer, I swear I’ll make it up somehow.
And I was lyin' just a little, in that line about goodbye
The truth is babe, I didn’t want you to see the teardrops in my eye.

There’s just one more mountain to climb, one more river to run
I’ll be back to get you babe, when I find that shinin' sun.
But I can’t be happy with you, until I’m satisfied with me
I’ll be back to get you someday, hope you’re still waitin' there for me.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Tribute to Julie

This is one of my favorite Tom Russell songs.  I don't know why it wasn't included on his "Anthology" double CD set.  It is off his "Box of Visions" album..., and from the first time I heard Heart of Hearts it had special meaning to me.  I had been single all my life, always on the run, until Julie and I got together in 1987 when I was 35 years old.  I've written about Julie and our life together in a couple of pieces here on the blog..., 40 Year Class Reunion and My Wife..., Julie..., and you can get a taste of what my life was like before we got together in Robert Earl Keen.

The photographs of dubious quality are a result of trying to take pictures of old photos with a digital camera.  The first half of the pictures range from Missoula, MT, to Orofino and Weippe, ID, Glacier National Park, on a sailboat on Priest Lake in Idaho and rafting on the North Fork of the Clearwater River.  I hope that they demonstrate that I had, "... always been the running kind," as Tom says in the song.  It wasn't that I stopped all that running when Julie and I hooked up..., but I had the best running partner I ever had.  The pictures of Julie were taken around Forks, WA and our nearby ranch on the Quillayute Prairie and on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska where we spent a few seasons in a logging camp at Labouchere Bay.

I hope you enjoy viewing and listening to this as much as I have enjoyed putting it together.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Me and Jimmy..., and Robert Earl Keen

I’ve written about a couple of my favorite singer-songwriters here on The Quillayute Cowboy blog; “Tom Russell” and “Growing Old with Jackson Browne” and mentioned a few select others like Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett.  I also mentioned that I don’t buy much new music these days because my hearing has deteriorated so much that it is hard for me to understand the lyrics…, and that’s where it’s at for me, mostly.  So, when this guy named Robert Earl Keen kept popping up on my Pandora station that I have keyed to Tom Russell…, and I began to catch a few well-turned phrases and liked the sound and rhythm…, I started to pay more attention.  Keen has a distinctive sounding voice…, a southern drawl with a nasal twang that is easily identified when you are browsing other web sites and hear one of his tunes.  One night I caught the lines:

        “I lived in Corpus with my brother
        We were always on the run
        We were bad for one another
        But we were good at having fun.
We got stoned along the seawall
We got drunk and rolled the car
We knew all the girls at every dance hall
Had a tab at every bar.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"Mountain Mayhem" by Gary Bond

It must be some 26 years since I left the Clearwater County area of Idaho and when I have managed to get back there for short visits, it is a struggle to see all the family…, let alone catch up with all the old friends.  Facebook has been quite a tool for connecting with some of those long lost friends.  There has been some pleasant surprises along the way…, and such was the case a couple of weeks ago, when I discovered that an old friend was a published author.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Mom - Wanda Spence

                                                                                       Wanda Kautz..., senior class picture

The email address was just identified as “Debbie”…, and the subject line was blank. So I was a little leery of opening it, even though there was no attachment.  After some bad experiences I had learned to screen my emails through my service providers email program before I let them through to my computers email program, so I opened it.  It was from “Debbie Wisell” and she said her father was “Blan. Lawler” and we were related through my mother somehow.  She asked me to call her.  I thought it was a bit unusual for a phishing email…, and there was something about the Lawler name that had what few remaining, live brain cells I have, running a few laps in my head.  I didn’t have to ponder the problem long.  A day or so later there was a message on the phone machine that explained things a little better…, and I called Debbie back.

Friday, February 1, 2013

That Championship Season

My old friend Mike Green sent me some old Weippe high school pictures that he found along with a newspaper clipping from one of our football games.  They brought back some old memories..., yeah..., I do mean OLD.  I’m sure he won’t mind if I share my email response to him with all of you.

Thanks for the pictures Mike..., and the newspaper clipping.  Julie called me at the job to tell me about them.  I was somewhat surprised.  She won’t even open a Christmas card that has both our names on it.  Not so with your letter.  Ripped open no less.  Maybe she thought you had sent some new juggling toys or something.  She still has the balls you sent several years back, hidden away from me so I can’t practice.  She says she is going to show you a thing or two next time she sees you.  Yeah.., she remarked on your penmanship…, and yet again, asked me why such a good looking guy like you isn’t married..., but she didn’t ask me about the touchdown mentioned in the clipping.  I guess she was just being considerate of my modesty and reluctance to talk about my athletic feats of accomplishment and my natural tendency to shy away from self-promotion in that regard.  I was honest with Julie.  I told her that I didn't remember THAT touchdown.  She may have thought that it was because I scored so many that a mere 5 yard scamper so paled in comparison to the many more memorable long distance scores.  But the rest of the story..., as Paul Harvey used to say..., is that I don't remember ever scoring a TD.  I threw for a few at Timberline my senior year..., but don't recall any, in any fashion, at Weippe.