RIGGING SHACK "CLASSIC"
(This column originally appeared in the March 1970 edition of Loggers World.)
This is the fun part of the paper far as I’m concerned, writing this Rigging Shack. Actually traveling, taking pictures and writing about loggers is all enjoyable. There are times when time is short, weather is bad and other obstacles block the road that it is less enjoyable than at other times. Rigging Shack is always a job of joy. It isn’t necessary, there are no prescribed rules or formulas and it really doesn’t matter if it gets done or not.
So with a fresh cup of coffee, with a new cigar burning just right one can relax at the typewriter and let the words come in any style or form they want to appear. Then writing this column there isn’t a job of rewriting it several times. It gets printed as it flows-or it doesn’t get printed because it doesn’t flow. There is no prior planning but rather is written as some of the most enjoyable of conversations take place. Unplanned and rather unexpected. Remember some of the times you ran into a friend you hadn’t seen for some time? Isn’t that a fine experience, an unexpected pleasure? Something like that is what I’m talking about.
You hear a lot of B.S. about what it takes to be a writer. In schools they have classes that spend hours discussing what a writer really means when he says this or that. Generally they study the writings of a person dead and gone for 500 years. After all the discussion is finished the teacher then tells the class what the writer really meant. To me that’s a foul smelling crock full. In the first place if the writer is a good one he should have made his meanings clear and thus the hours of discussion would be wasted futile time. In the second place if his meanings are that cloudy what gives the teacher the inside pipeline to his brain? Specially one that ceased all activity 500 years before?
To me, and certainly I’m no expert, good writing is clear writing. If you can’t figure out the meaning of the sentences and paragraphs the author wasted his time writing it and you wasted your time reading it...Granted there are some subjects that are difficult to make clear-but by keeping it simple the meaning becomes evident. To me any writing that you can read and understand what the writer means is good writing. The style doesn’t matter, the chosen words don’t matter, only the reason for the writing really matters. If it is understood it’s good and if it isn’t understood, it isn’t any good.
For some people writing is easy. For some people it is difficult. For most it is one or the other and sometimes both in the same job of writing. Sometimes it comes easy and at times it comes hard. When it comes easy it is likely to be good and when it is difficult it isn’t as good usually.
Experts tell you that a writer needs a big vocabulary. I don’t agree completely. If a writer has the same vocabulary as his readers that’s all he needs.
How’n the devil did we get on this subject? Time to change.
April Loggers World
At this time we don’t know what the April Loggers World will be about. Think I’ve narrowed it down to two choices. Choice One: “Safe Logging.” I’d like to interview about two dozen working loggers and get their ideas of what should be done to make logging safer. I believe that more safety information, ideas, thoughts and opinions should come from the men doing the jobs.
Second Choice: “Logging Jobs.” Pictures and information about the jobs connected with logging. Again I’d like to go to the men doing the jobs, take their pictures and have them describe the job they do.
It just came to me that first and second choice could be done in the same paper by getting two opinions (Job description and how to make logging safer) from the same people.
May Issue will be about Rubber Tire Skidders and the Loggers who use them. If we do as planned.
It doesn’t matter that we get letters that say we shouldn’t do it. Now I’m not bitching because these letters are good guidelines for us to go by. We need them and appreciate them. We get raked over once in a while because the paper is changing. I’m about half aware of this and must agree that it is changing. But I don’t know what to do about it. I wouldn’t know how to stop the changes and probably wouldn’t anyhow.
I guess that you can say a paper is a property. Unlike most property it takes on a personality and a being and a shape. It gets both personal and powerful. Comes the time that I don’t know whether I run the thing or the thing runs me.
There are many people involved with putting out a paper. I’m supposed to be the gink that says what happens but most things happen before I say.
Change it will, just as do you and I. Change is inevitable and usually good. A paper represents the personality of those who produce it and of those written about.
My thinking is always changing and my convictions change and the conversations with others change. I find that now people are more involved with bigger problems than before, their thinking is changing; their awareness is growing and their concern is more apparent.
Some things have to change because of physical things. Our environment for instance. We must change the pollution of air and water or face extinction at some future date. We must clean up or die-that is fact. At some future date if we go as we have gone, poison of one form or another will get us. Not a very desirable future is it?
This is a serious problem. One brought about by more and more people. More crowding, more space needed. People pollute and spoil and poison.
No longer can we excuse polluting the water and air because it is good for the economy. What good is healthy economy when you have unhealthy people? This isn’t a tomorrow problem, it is here today. Frightening!
Change? We must!