Some say the world will end with fire.

Others say with ice.

From what I've tasted of desire

I hold with those that favor fire.

But if I had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate,

To say that for destruction ice,

Is also great and would suffice.

Robert Frost


"Good things come to those who wait, but, only the things LEFT by those who hustle." - Unknown (at least by me)

"Life is wonderful, without it you are dead." - Hy "Pete" Peterson - Park City and Kenecott Miner

"Don't worry about those people in your past---there is a reason they are not in your present." - Unknown

"Life's tough - it's even tougher if you're stupid." - John Wayne

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary!" - Vince Lombardi

"If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re probably taking up too much space.” ~ Attributed to Jim Whittaker by Doug ‘Swani’ Swantner, Alaska Smokejumper and Air Attack Base Manager (Ret.)

About Me

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I am married and have seven children and twenty grandchildren. I retired January 1, 2010 after working 39+ years for the Forest Service...NEW CHAPTER IN MY LIFE HAS BEGUN!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


The way all of this is working is that I started out with the barns burning and that triggered the previous stories. I was going to go into the barns burning but have decided just to tell you a little about that.

The barn closest to the house burned on a cold spring night. I remember the fire trucks parked near the houses keeping the roofs cooled down so that the houses didn't burn. They did really good because none of the houses were damaged. I believe it was four in the morning when the fire alarm went off. The fire inside the barn could be seen raging through the wooden walls on the outside. That was my very first view of wildfire raging and I have never forgotten what it can do. The turkeys, cows and pigs were turned loose and we helped round them up and put the turkeys in the shed and the cows and pigs in neighbors pens the next afternoon.

The second barn and all the neighborhood sheds and fences in the middle of the block burned on another very cold stormy fall night. It also went up in smoke around 4:00 a.m. It was also a raging inferno and the fire men did a great job of keeping the rest of the block from going up in smoke. The cows, pigs, chickens and ducks were also let out so they didn't burn up. We helped round them up just like the other time.

Both barns went up in smoke due to fires starting in hay that was stacked inside the barn for feeding the animals. The fires cleared the best baseball field that there ever had been in town. Shortly after the second fire dump trucks and a loader were brought in to clear out the debris and level the ground. Five neighborhood yards were impacted by the fires so the interior of the block was pretty much cleaned up after they were through trucking the debris out of there.

When they finished the clean up a power company came in and built a sub-station on the North side of the block. After construction they put up an eight foot chain link fence with three razor wires at the top to make it vandal proof. As soon as it was completed the baseball games began. The south fence of the sub-station became the left field home run fence because when a ball went over the fence there was some time required to get it back. Most of the time we only had one ball so it was imperative that it be retrieved from the sub-station over the vandal proof fence or the game would have to be cancelled.

At that time in our lives our church had meetings in the morning that got out by noon and then a meeting at night that started at 7:00 p.m. Everyone in town had the same Sunday schedule so right after lunch everyone would come to the baseball field for the Sunday games. We would play from about 1:00 p.m until 6:00 p.m. and then everyone would go home, get ready and go to church. Every boy in town from three years older than me to 4 years younger than me would show up every Sunday for the games (and fights and arguments and anything else that came out of the game). I have one tooth that was knocked out by a mad dude with a baseball bat and there are lots of others that participated that have a similar kind of memory of the ball field. (I was in Boise, Idaho a year ago and ran into one of the guys from that period. He and his wife were on a Church Mission in Boise. His first comment was "Do you remember all the fun we had at the baseball field on Sundays?")

I was pretty small growing up and it became my responsibility to retrieve the baseball from the sub-station over the vandal proof fence. If someone didn't do it the game would have to be cancelled. I got good (and still am) at climbing the chain link fence then weaving my way through the razor wire. When I made it through the razor wire I would jump down into the sub-station, retrieve the ball, throw it back over the fence and climb back out repeating the weave through the razor wire and climbing back down the fence. To retrieve the ball sometimes required a long stick to get the ball out from under or away from the transformers. We had a kitchen broom on hand for just that purpose. I have often wondered if the power company employees ever questioned why the broom was inside the sub-station and how it got there or if they knew and just let us continue to have our Sunday afternoon activities.

Many, Many, Many years later I was in Logan Canyon and could see Logan City employees working across the river from Third Dam. There is a chain link and barbed wire fence across the dam to prevent the public from getting in there. In order to get to the workers I either had to walk several miles or climb the fence and walk a few hundred feet. I climbed the fence. Just as I was getting down the second side of the fence a Logan employee met me and said "Fences don't mean much to you do they." I replied "Yeah they mean a lot...I thought they were put up to climb." We laughed a little and went over and inspected the job they were doing. Every time I see anyone from this crew they always bring up me climbing the chain link fence and weaving through the barbed wire. Wonder where I learned that?????

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