| September/October 1971

Dayton Daily News & Radio's 'Joe's Journal'

Down the Hogpath we went, then, b'aring to the left, up a narrow com lane walled in by towering Miami County hybrids so thick you could hardly make the next turn. Lucky no one was coming out that lane or one of us would have to do some tall maneuvering at backing out to where we'd started, lest one or t'other 'd wind up in 'ither cornfield thick enough to frighten even a raccoon from entering.

'T was a balmy summer afternoon, the tell-tale whiffs of kerosene exhaust wafting from the old tin stack, slightly askew atop the open-air shed and the on-and-off chugging of an old Rumely Oil-Pull let us know our journey was not in vain.

The smell of fresh-sawn lumber, the sight of a big 22-inch beech log being rolled over into position, the whine of the big 52-inch saw blade as old Rumely tugged at the flopping belt convinced us without a doubt that 'Old Independent' was buzzing timber that day.

'You caught us just right,' said Clyde Robbins, taking time out for a giant chew which consisted of Red Fox scrap, mingled with sawdust dropping from off his head-sawyer's cap while son, Don, lugged another one-by-four-inch beech board from the saw table to a stack out back. 'Feller just phoned yesterday afternoon for us to cut down these beech trees and haul these logs over for sawin'.'

'Found a whole bunch of beech over in Phebe McBride's woods up the road,' said he, between chaws to settle his fresh cud. 'Don't find much beech a-round these parts anymore.'