March, 2001

 

 

 

 

Lines from Lloyd 

Looking back on a lifetime of logging and other adventures

Nearing 80, and having worked many of those years in Oregon timberlands, Lloyd Keeland's seen just about everything. And never one to keep those exciting old stories to himself, Lloyd's tales not only entertain but give a historic glimpse of Oregon's yesteryear. His wife, Ellen, knew his stories were something special and spent years collecting and writing them down. 

They became the book entitled Loon Lake Lloyd, which recently hit bookstores. Now others can relive the adventures told in Lloyd's own, down to earth, style. See for yourself in the following excerpted stories. 

On chain saw repair . . . One time we were making horse jumps for the Menefee Chicken Farm. I was running the Cat. Clyde Cook, about six foot three inches, and he wasn't a skinny guy either, fell the timber and cut the logs twelve, maybe sixteen foot in length for the jumps. We'd stack them two on the bottom and one on the top, then cover them with dirt. Clyde was cutting away - "yerom, yeom, yeom." The saw would not cut. I had seen him filing down the riders - too much. Then he stuck it in a log, and I hear it go "runt ." The motor would quit. He tried it a few more times.

Then he got mad because it kept grabbing into the wood and dying. He grabbed that saw right by the bar, and he ran just as hard as he could go and hit it right on top of the stump - "kersmack!" Just broke it to pieces. The pieces just flew. The motor broke off. He still had it by the bar. He ran out to his jeep and got a can of gas and matches and back he come! I didn't know what he was getting them for. Scared Ol' Mennefee, I think, who didn't know what Clyde was doing. Then he poured gas all over the saw and set it afire. Shoot, the rest of us didn't dare laugh. 

Then he got in the jeep and out of there he went and bought another saw. When he came back he said, "By God, I got one now that'll cut." Had him a new Homelight. Those McCulloughs were cantankerous son-of-a-guns, especially when the riders were filed down to much. God, you look back on that - I was working a D6 Cat and myself for thirteen dollars an hour - that was the going wage then. That was probably '53, '54. 

On handling the forest service . . . Barney Hurt and I had a logging contract in one area up there in the Elliott State Forest in 1962. Everything was laying on the ground from the Columbus Day Storm. It was all second growth Douglas fir and very little hemlock. . . When the Columbus Day Storm came through, it just blew down timber in big patches and this was one area where fir, hemlock and the whole shiterie was on the ground. We clearlogged the whole darned thing. Then they marked out some of this golderned thinning. 

Everything's so crowded you can't get around very good. The blade of the Cat hook one of those damned exposed roots that's sticking out and tore a slab out of the tree eight or ten feet up. The Elliott State Forestry in charge of the job came inspecting and said, "Oh, oh! A crime has been committed. I'll have to write you a citation ." I said, "Oh, come on now, this is no crime, anybody can do this; it just happens sometimes. That rip won't hurt the tree, it'll scar over. Anyone Catskinning is bound to do it once in a while; it's called 'slabbing a tree.'" He responds, "Well, I don't' know what you want to call it. I'm going to have to write you a citation anyway, and I'm going to guarantee you that!" I said to him, "If you do, I'm going to bust you right in the nose and I can guarantee that!" 

The forester got in the truck and wrote it in the truck. When he went to hand it to me through the window, I took it, then I grabbed his hand and pulled him toward me and popped him with a left. Laid him right back in the truck. Right over sideways. He was out for a couple minutes. Barney, my partner said, "Jesus, Keeland, I think you killed him ." When the forester came to, he said "Oh my, you struck me!" I responded with, "Now get the hell out of here ." Gave his citation to him, too! Threw it back in the seat. 

The next day the Coos Bay boss comes out and says, "What happened between you and that forester yesterday?" I told him, "Well, come on over and look at this and you can see for yourself what happened. It's no big thing ." I showed him the slabbed tree. That scab won't hurt that tree. His scab may hurt, though. The nut! Where'd they get him, back hiding in some office someplace? That was about the start of things way back then of the environmental whackos ordering a lot of nonsensical rules, citations and penalties to loggers. They got another man to supervise the job from then on and got nom more citations form him either. 

Loon Lake Lloyd is Ellen Keeland's first book. For more information you can, write her at 9556 Loon Lake Road, Reedsport, OR or call OR or call (541) 599-2220

 

This page was last updated on Monday, November 10, 2003