Rigging Shack "Classic"

(This column originally appeared in the June 1974 edition of Loggers World.)


Years and years later it came to me how lucky I was to know and to work with the many good men that I have. After I got started in the publishing business I realized that I didn’t know anything about it and that I didn’t know much about working with and steering people in this business. So I got books, took courses and studied.

I found that most businesses have about the same access to capital and to machinery. The big difference between one company and another is the difference in the management and the people that do the work. The people that do the work may be, probably are, more important than the manager. That is debatable. They both must be good or all the money and all the machinery aren’t going to go anyplace.

Now the big corporation has more capital. They probably have smarter managers. They certainly have as good a ground and as good, if not better, farm machinery. But they can’t hire the kind of people that’ll do the work with their backs and brains.

Big corporations have access to information. They have intelligence tests. They probe and they measure. And it works. But...there is one little ingredient in a man which they can’t measure. That is his attitude. How bad does he want to do the job?

Salesmen who have taken aptitude tests have been turned down and told they have a talent for mechanical things-not for sales. Then these same men went out and made a success of their lives by selling products. The tests couldn’t tell these men wanted to be salespeople more than they wanted to be anything else.
No one can measure the most important thing in a person. It is private, and buried deep. It might not even be there this month, but is the next month. You can’t take the temperature of those Inward Fires.

1974 World’s Fair
One of my self-imposed duties for this June issue of L-W was to attend the opening of the (1974 Spokane, Washigton) World’s Fair. Now to most people this would probably be something they’d look forward to and feel proud about. My purpose was to report on the Forestry Pavilion and to report on the Logging Sports part of the Fair. I didn’t relish this because I don’t like a crowd of pushing shoving people.

Earl Marcellus is in charge of the “Festival of Forestry”. At this time of writing, which is the evening of my first day in this area and three days before the Fair opens, I don’t have much of an idea of what the Festival of Forestry is all about. Not only that, but the third day of May is open to the Press only. Earl talked me into announcing the Logging Sports events for the reporter’s publishers and so forth. That might be a sort of a circus. I don’t know what is going to happen and the audience most likely doesn’t care.

We’ll see how it works out. If it comes out to my credit then I might tell you about it. If I turn out to be an utter ass you can believe that I’ll keep mum about the whole shebang.

This morning left our headquarters, driving the pick-up and pulling our mobile office. The mobile office is a combination office and home which is housed in a “Prowler” self-contained trailer. Trip was smooth, kept up with traffic, and we drove the 375miles here in good time. Beautiful time of the year to travel. What’ll be browned and burned in a couple of months is now fresh and green.

Just before we got to Moses Lake, saw a big tall sign which in red-lighted letters said “HELL”. I thought someone had exercised some vivid imaginings to name a spot Hell. Upon getting closer saw that it was a service station. A Shell service station. The letter “S” was missing. Wanted to get a picture of it but no place to park.

I wanted to find a trailer park before we got to Spokane but within a reasonable distance. One was advertised along the freeway. We got to the proper turn off, went a couple of miles down a back road, turned off that and went toward the hills and woods on a gravel road. We were following the signs like a timber cruiser. Got to the place, set back in the woods and looked like a dandy place. It was closed.

So had to jockey the pick-up and trailer around and come out of there. Was thinking that I should buy a gallon of barn paint and go back down the freeway and paint over every damned one of this signs. Course you know I didn’t. No guts.

P.S. On the way home did stop and take a picture of what I now think of as “HELL” Washington.

After getting home read in the Sunday paper that there was a terrible tornado which tore the devil out of things at great loss of life and property in “HELL” Michigan.

At the Fairgrounds

May 1, Spokane, WA

My first duty this morning was to get to the fairgrounds and look the situation over. Wanted and need to find out where the Festival of Forestry was to be held and where the American Forest Institute Forestry Pavilion was located.

But first though, the very first thing was to find a place to park. Second thing was to walk from the parking place to the fairgrounds and find an entrance. Third; show my uncompleted Press Pass to the gate man and ask him where I had to go to get this Pass validated and permanentized. He sent to the wrong place. They sent me to another wrong place. Finally thru the process of asking and eliminating those answers that seemed haywire, I found the right place. A nice young lady took my original Press Pass, took my picture with a special two thousand dollar camera, put it onto the Press Pass and sealed the two in a plastic sandwich. I was now legitimate.

This Circus is supposed to open in two more days. If the construction is finished, the chaos is straightened out and it settles down into a working operation within a month I’d be surprised. Nothing seems to be completed. Today there are jack hammers, bulldozers, carpenters, landscaping outfits, electrician trucks, painters, designers, phone installers and other talented people gumming up the works and getting into each other’s way. Truckloads of grass mats are coming in and being placed rapidly. The situation looks hopeless but by some magic it will heal itself and the Fair will open on schedule, even if it is in the midst of the final stages of construction. Anxious looks and haggard expressions are the normal thing.

Utter Chaos is a kind description at this time.

Three wooden spar trees are standing proud and tall. Surrounding these trees are the show grounds for the logging sports. Crews are busy fixing up and finishing up. The log rolling pond is made of concrete blocks with a wooden runner surrounding the circular pond. One man was busy installing this wooden sidewalk around the pond. This affair looks as though it will be ready to percolate.

The Fairgrounds are next to the Spokane River. In fact the river dissects the Fairgrounds. The Spokane River is in flood. It is entirely possible it will spill some of its water into the Fairgrounds itself. But not likely.

I walked miles and miles thru and over this location. They have a color scheme here. The Fair is broken up into four colors. Yellow, lilac, purple and red, I think. The Festival of Forestry is the lilac section, while the Forestry Pavilion is in the red area. This color code will keep some people from getting lost, but not all of us. Of course if you are going to get lost, getting lost at the World’s Fair is not the worst thing that could happen. You will be surrounded by places to eat and refresh yourself. Hardest type of places to find are those in which you wish to relieve yourself. Doesn’t look like enough establishments for “body calls.”

I have by now pored over programs and schedules. There will be a wide range of entertainment to suit every taste. From professional football games to folk dancers from the Harper Valley PTA. It will cost you ten bucks for a good seat to see Bob Hope-but then you didn’t think this was free did you?

During out short visit haven’t seen any evidence of prices being raised for this special occasion in the Spokane area. For instance it costs us $3.00 the night to park our trailer at the Sunset Camp. Weekly rates now are $18.00 for a full week. One night free out of seven.
Foolish occupation mine is. Here I sit, working away trying to describe something that hasn’t happened yet. I’ll know it off and come back when the people start stampeding thru the turnstiles.


After all the preparation, all the anticipation, the count down, the getting ready, the visitations from famous people, the special events and layer after layer of the spicy cake made of opening day ceremonies-after all of this, I missed Opening Day.

This was not by accident. This was deliberate. Knew there was going to be a big crowd. The turnstiles clicked 85,000 times at one person per click. So-stayed at home in our Mobile Office and worked. Worked and listened to all the hullaboo and all the B.S. on the radio.

Shortly after noon drove about 60 miles to see logger Ed Sverdsten and his wife Alida at Cataldo, Idaho. Took some pictures and visited and drank coffee and looked and inspected and had a most interesting time with these two fine people. Then came back to Spokane and our “trailer on the hill” in the evening.

Sunday the fifth day of May I went to the Fair again.


The first logging show was to take place about noon. I was at the fairgrounds a couple of hours early. Went down to American Forest Pavilion and talked to some of the crew there. They were doing well-lots of customers and interested customers. Dropped in at the Kodak Pavilion and watched some superior color slides of different things. The over to the Logging Show grounds and visited with the contestants and such, when they weren’t busy.

The put on three shows a day here. Each show is over half an hour. Then the same crew is faced with the task of getting everything ready for the next show. They work seven hours a day and it is most demanding. After each show they invited anyone from the crowd to come in and talk with the contestants and to try their hands at such things as climbing and log rolling. They get a good crowd for each show and good interest and participation booth during and after the show.

Great program for our industry. When you get to the Fair be sure to take this in. After the Logging Show go in and introduce yourself to the contestants. Fine bunch of men.

One of the things they do is to plant a couple of trees. Forrest Corey explains what is going on as Bill Burgess plants the trees. Before they get started they ask a young man child to come in from the audience and help with the tree planting. After the planting is done, Forrest invites people that live nearby to come in and get one of the seedlings second growth fir trees and take it home for planting in their yard. Must be kept wet and planted quickly or it will die.

Instead of doing this the Forest Industry is going to supply everyone interested with a packet of tree seeds. Haven’t got them yet. Hard to get plastic for containers for the seeds. They need some plastic bags, or envelopes, to hold the seeds in when giving to people.

This is my last report on the Fair in this issue. Mostly because this was my last visit. Earl has asked me to be his Logging Show announcer at the Fair during the Professional Logging Show Contestants Final Events on Saturday and Sunday, September seventh and eighth. Will be back then for sure.