by Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979
Just read the e-mail from Roland, my editor, about the need for another column early and so as you probably know by now, that I have been going through my large stash of old papers. I picked up one of the old (February 10, 1974) Maine Sunday Telegram papers I had been reading. It started with the headline, Maine Profiles : 5 Generations OF WOODSMEN. It was written by Lynn Franklin and it starts out “with these words Morris Wing is regional manager, department of woodlands, for the International Paper Co., at Chisholm, supervising work on a million acres of land that supplies about 500,000 cords of wood for the company mill and about 100 million feet of logs to other firms.”
What I am about to write is the article from the paper when Morris Wing was interviewed by Lynn Franklin: All my relatives are engaged one way or the other in logging and always have been. We’ve been in Maine five generations that I know about.
The article reads: My father was born at Flagstaff, which is under water now because of the Flagstaff dam on Dead River. Grandfather, Warren Wing, was born in the upper Dead River country and was a logger and also a hunter and fisher. He loved it and trapped for spending money all his life. As I recall he’d rather trap than do anything. He inherited land from his father, who was Cyrus Wing, also born in the Dead River area.
My father is 93 and lives with us. His father, Warren, was a logger as was his father Cyrus.
Joseph Wing, Cyrus’ father, was born in Kingfield, Maine. He was also a logger and his father Paul, was born in Harwich, Massachusetts. Paul came to Maine at 14 with his parents. That’s five generations.
I grew up on the Kennebec River at Bingham. There were six children, four boys, and most of us have remained woodsmen.
When I come along father was logging and contracting and we lived on a small farm. We had little monetary income and lived on a few beef cattle, a couple of milk cows, We cut a lot of hay in the summer and what we didn’t need for the logging horses we could sell.
But father’s primary income was logging and the whole family worked with him.
My first year in the woods I was nine and I remember it very clearly. My older brother, Glen, was six years older. He was able to do a man’s job and he was actually chopping. They call it cutting now, but we used axes exclusively then.
We was cutting pulp wood, sap peeled. You don’t see the bark removed by hand any more. There were other people working on the job. It was a small crew, five or six men, and I remember my first instructions.
“Take a spud, Morris, said my father. “You can keep up with us all right. We’ll fell the trees and cut the limbs off. All you got to do is take the bark off.”
I thought I could keep up with them but I soon found that I couldn’t. However you just kept working. That’s the way it was, pretty tough. I chased those choppers all summer long, never did catch ’em, but I took a lot of bark off a lot of trees. (I will tell you more about logging in the old days next week.)
And now for Percy’s memoir: May you have… Enough happiness to keep you sweet, Enough trials to keep you strong, Enough sorrow to keep you human, Enough hope to keep you happy, Enough failure to keep you humble, Enough success to keep you eager, Enough friends to give you comfort, Enough wealth to meet your needs, Enough enthusiasm to look forward, Enough faith to banish depression, Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.
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