Striping Bark!

I was staying with my grandparents some years ago.

One day I asked my Grandfather if I could go to work with him. I wanted to make some money. He said skinning poles was a hard job. The next day we were off to the woods and I was thinking about how much money I was going to make. Back then they paid fifty cents a tree to trim the limbs off and skin the bark off. On the way to the woods I was thinking, removing the bark from the trunk of a tree could not be that hard to do. My grandfather’s son worked as a logger. He would cut the trees down. Our job was to trim the branches off with an axe. After you do that you take another tool and slice the bark off, sounds easy enough. The tool looks like a hoe with the end straightened out and sharpened on one side. My Grandfather handed me an axe and the tool for skinning. He showed me how to trim the limbs off and skin the tree. And now it’s my turn. I jumped up on that big pine tree with axe in hand. I started trimming the limbs off I was huffing and puffing, I told my Grandpa I’m not big enough to cut the big limbs off, He started laughing and he helped me, “thank God”. I was now on my way to skinning the bark off watching my Grandfather it looked easy enough, to remove the bark off the tree you slip the edge of the blade under the bark and push on the pole, the bark will slices off, if you have enough muscle behind it. As the day passed on, I remember what Grandpa had said the day before – skinning poles was hard work, next time I will have “both ears” open. It was interesting to watch the horses pull the logs. After the man hooks up the chains to the log and does the click, click thing with his mouth, the horse starts moving, it is a site to see the muscles on the horse bulging as the log is being dragged out of the woods to be loaded on to the logging truck. I was amazed on how they cut the trees down. They used cross cut saws and a lot of elbow “grease. After a long day’s work I was exhausted. It was a fun day working and talking to my Grandfather and Uncle. I trimmed and removed the bark from two pine trees with a lot of help from Grandpa. I made “one dollar”. Yipeeeeeeee. The good thing about it was I had enough money to go to the movies ten times, or five times and spend the rest on goodies. Ha.

A word of advice from “the old man says” Take a “minute” think about what you are planning to do before you do it.

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One Response to “Striping Bark!”

  1. persistentillusion Says:

    “Our job was to trim the branches off with an axe. ”

    Isn’t that a little dangerous? I mean, do axes have enough precision??

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