Along about April or May of every year when the high county around Hemlock Butte and Rocky Ridge Lake were still socked in and buried in perhaps 10 feet or more of frozen snow at over 5,600 feet in elevation…, Lewiston, ID at barely 700 feet above sea level…, had been snow free for many months and the flower and vegetable gardeners weren’t much worried about any killing frosts. As we would head east up US 12 along the Clearwater River toward Weippe and home in our old car, my Dad would look across the river at that giant, smoke belching, rotten-egg smelling, Potlatch Forests, Inc. pulp mill and say, “Well…, looks like they are getting mighty short of logs…, guess I better sign on for The Drive this year.” He never did sign on when I knew him though. He had been on a couple, or maybe a few, before I was born, or when I was too young to remember. Strange how those little details never seem to matter…, until it is too late to sort them out.
Saturday, April 9, 2016
It isn’t a feeling that I get often…, or ever often got for that matter. It’s been a good many years since I shuffled around a pool table…, and even back in the days when it was an all too common occurrence…, I did way more rackin’ myself than I ever did instructing others to do so.
But every once in while…, OK, make that, great while…, I had one of those nights when the stars all aligned and that old pool cue had a laser light in the tip. And you could literally feel the fear and self-doubt building in the local hustler as game after game was slipping away…, and after sinking another 8-ball…, you take a long pull out of a bottle of ice cold Hamm’s…, sit it down firmly…, look him in the eye…, and say, “Rack’em up!”