D. E. Larsen, DVM
I started writing bits and pieces in the 1990s. Those writings were brief, maybe all my papers are brief, but those were 200 to 400 words. They helped preserve some of those moments, and I still refer to those notes when pondering a topic.
About this same time, my oldest brother started writing a weekly column in The Myrtle Point Herald, the local weekly newspaper. His column was short stories of his early years in the woods (or the logging industry for those unfamiliar with the vernacular). His column chronicled his life in the woods, and as a small gyppo logging company owner, and then later as a log scaler.
He enjoyed a high level of local notoriety. To think, he didn’t even know how to type, let alone run a computer.
He would write those stories in longhand, and the paper would type them out and publish them. With some encouragement, he compiled them into a small paperback book. He printed several hundred copies, at considerable expense for him. He managed to sell them all for $22.00 a copy.
When they were sold, he was reluctant to go through the printing expense again. I convinced him to put it on Amazon as an ebook.
If anyone wants a different perspective of life in a small West Coast logging town and the work that goes on in the woods. That book is still available on Amazon.
My brother passed away in 2017 from lung cancer. The events leading up to his death were a story fit for a novel.
Larry had one set of numbers that he played in the Oregon Lottery. He played those numbers every drawing, and he won a lot. Winning 4 numbers several hundred times and 5 numbers a half dozen times. He absolutely knew he was going to win the big pot sooner or later.
After he was sick and waiting for some diagnostics the following week, he had trouble finding the shower Thursday night. His wife would not let him go to town to buy his lottery ticket on Friday morning. He managed to sneak out of the house and drove the 8 miles to town. He made it into the store and purchased his ticket. Then he collapsed. The store called his daughter and daughter-in-law, the ambulance, and the police. Of course, there was a lot of commotion.
Larry managed to recover enough to get back on his feet and get back into his pickup. He was going home. The police were reluctant to allow him to drive. The daughters tried to talk him into the ambulance.
With much hesitation on his part, he finally consented to an ambulance ride. He died in the early morning hours of the following day.
What about that final lottery ticket? Would that not be the final irony of a man’s life, if that ticket was the winner.
As it turned out, it was not the big winner, but what an ending to a novel or a life, if it had been.
Link to Larry’s book,
Back in the Day, by Larry Larsen