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!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Last evening I was notified that one of my good friends from my entire Forest Service career had died from the cancer he so valiantly battled. It upset me pretty badly until I thought about his battle and how sick he has been for the past month. He was sleeping 22 hours a day and was on a pain pump so it should have been no surprise that he finally lost the battle. I have spent some time thinking about our friendship and decided to put it on here so I could come back and read it if I chose to.

In 1976 we worked on the same District in Montana. He was on the timber preparation crew and I worked on the silviculture side of things. Our paths crossed many times that year and we were friendly but never got to be really good friends. I moved on to another District in Montana and he moved on to another District in Idaho. We occasionally saw each other at training sessions and had some great visits about the OLD District.

In 1981 I moved to a District in Utah and he moved to a District in Utah. We were both responsible for recreation so our paths crossed a lot and we shared ideas on how to do things better. We had a great relationship and were friends but not really close friends. In 1997 he took a job as an assistant to the Director of the Olympics for the Forest Service and left his job on another District. I put in for that job and got it so followed him on a job. One thing I was always cautious about was picking who I followed. He left some pretty big shoes to fill as I knew he would but he still lived in the same town so I could easily contact him if I needed to.

He had left some pretty big partnership jobs unfinished and I had to figure out how to get everything done that he had started. We spent quite a bit of time together on these projects and he helped me get everything figured out and I was able to get the projects finished. They turned out great and the Forest got a National award for one of the projects. I refused to be the recipient of the award because I thought (and still do) that it should have been his award since he did all of the planning and getting all the partnership money rounded up. He refused to be the recipient of the award because he thought it should have been mine because I was the one that implemented it on the ground. There were many long discussions about this with high powered people and they were insistent that one of us agree to receive the award. We both still refused saying the other one should get it. As it turned out one of the designers of the project went to Washington D.C. and received it. SEE WE WERE BOTH HARD HEADED ENOUGH NOT TO BEND!

In 1986 we were on a fire together in the deep back country of Utah. It was really terribly hot and drinking water was at a premium. We had been working very hard for several hours and all of a sudden he went down. I ran over to see what was going on and he was hot and dry and really red. I got the crew to set up a sleeping cot and started pouring water all over him. I covered him with a light cloth and just kept pouring that water over him. He was miserable but we kept at it until we could move him to a hospital. When we got him to the hospital he was diagnosed as having a heat stroke. Our pouring the water on him had cooled his body temperature enough that he survived. His spouse did not let him come back to work for me in fire until 1997. He came back as my Supply Unit Leader and we had a great run for eight years.



Delirious said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. But it sounds like it came at a good time for him. It would have been hard for him to continue on like that. And he really is in a better place now.

Lightning Strikes said...

So sad :( But at least he led a great life and is no longer suffering!

Dee Ice Hole said...

There is that---AND I have some great memories of a good friend.