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An Early Retiree Discusses Work, Jail and Parenting: 12/8/21
© 2022 James LaFond
[Corby is about 5’ 8”, broad shouldered, very lean, with big hands covered in rings. He wears a denim coat and backwards ball cap, with shoulder length grey-brown hair and a short grisly beard.]
I’m all busted up now—retired, early, medical. I do off jobs, help people out here and there. When I get too drunk, they [the cute barmaids] just call my little brother—whose fucking six ten and three hundred pounds, and he throws me over my shoulder and carries me home.
I’m from here! [Points to floor of bar meaning Portland] and its a shame what’s happened—old folks and ladies can’t go out at night. First time I was locked up was in the [can’t remember municipality] Jail. It should have clued me in when I went to court and the judge knew how to pronounce my name. Then, when I get sent up, I walk past the trustee’s and there is my Uncle, saying, “Hey, Corby” and I end up running into my older brother—not the oldest.
I was the youngest of five brothers until my sister and little brother were born. Strap was the oldest. He’s gone now. He used to run the yarder, stay nice and warm up in his fucking truck while I was out there with the chain saw.
I had been working in aluminum extrusion—worked at four different outfits—on the Dallas schedule, day turn for a week, afternoon for a week, swing shift for a week, overnight for a week. Talk about fucking your mind up! Jeese!
First day on the job this guy loses his right pinkie finger—done, gone. Second day, this dude with brand new boots steps in this molten metal and vaporizes that boot, fucking no meat up to his knee, the foot is gone and half the bone is hanging below the knee—and this fucker was running, ran clear out of there.
My brother calls me up one day, after 14-months of hell and tells me he has a daylight job logging and I’m fucking out of there!
We worked up along Columbia Falls Montana and so far up above Glacier [National Park] that you could throw a football into Canada. The company we worked for [author forgets] they had a railroad that went into the forest for log extraction. They had a motel—the best motel I have ever seen—just for the train operators. Us loggers were not welcome. I had to sleep in my fucking truck.
I raised my kid out there until he was six years old and the X-wife took him. Didn’t see him again for twenty years. But of the entire family, his children are the best behaved. He’s done well and I think it had something to do with my parenting.
Number one, when you are four or five, and I’m cutting down this tree, you stand the fuck over there, and when it falls, you run the fuck over there!
Number two, clean your ass. No good comes of being dirty. It wasn’t easy. That river water was so cold. I went over the ledge into forty degree water and soaped up and was freezing my ass off and I reached up to him and said, jump, I’ll catch you and he was terrified. But I got him in there and we cleaned up.
He went with his mom when he was six.
I get arrested one time in Columbia Falls and the jail is from here to there, and over there across the street, that was the bar. No TV. No books. No magazines. Not even a fucking newspaper. Jeese, do you guys have a cereal box I could read! You get two meals a day, lunch and dinner, because the bar does not open until noon!
I get released on work released into the custody of this big fucking cowboy named Ron Hill. Ron fucking Hill! Hat as big anything, fucking horns on the front of his car, and his license plate reads Hill!
They ask me my work schedule, so I tell them, dawn until dark. We work until dark and then we drive the fuck out of there. Well, they never checked on me, so you can believe I was getting back to Ron Hills and drinking some beer before I checked in. Well, comes the hunt, there are five deer and four elk in the barn and I’m drinking beer—violation or probation—cutting and gutting and helping out. It’s the last week of my time and then the fucker shows up and me with a beer in my hand! Fortunately, in fucking Columbia Falls Montana, its tradition to drink beer while you are dressing deer.
Logging in the winter, in fucking four feet of snow—up to your chest—is no joke. I can take that tree down, but I can’t fucking move out if shit goes sideways. Mind you that the tree I am cutting has a foot of snow on the boughs and that shit is raining down on me until I’m up to my neck—and old Strap is in his fucking yarder with the heat on.
He was Big brother and I do miss him, wish he were here.
Now, I’m all busted up, not even sixty and shot.
The Bar Skill Set
harm city to chicongo
buzz bunny
winter of a fighting life
the greatest lie ever sold
the lesser angels of our nature
Jackmaninov     Mar 21, 2022

Nice to hear there are still some hard men kicking around out there, refusing to kick the bucket.
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