Friday, May 29, 2009


This is Ed Hirsch, the hubcap king of Arcata, Ca. (phone 707-822-9244---He ships) When our business was over, the back and forth of random comments spiraled us down to bedrock principles and it became clear that hubcaps are an avocation for Ed. His vocaton is social philosophy.----BINGO, My kind of guy----he has answers---I have questions. So I asked an obvious one: Where have all the sawmills gone? The answer was unexpected---dramatic---and moved me to poetry:

There were jobs galore and mills by the score
buzzing happily
when logs came down to the lovely town
of Arcata by the sea.

Then POOF!, they were gone like yesterday's song
and the really good jobs went with'em.
What turned things down for Arcata town
was not some economic rhythm.

It was Japanese; slick as you please
they bought up the good timber trees;
and the logs were shipped past the ocean's lip
to lumber mills out in the seas.

In gigantic boats, sawmills afloat
sliced up our redwood gold;
woodwork extensive, polished and expensive
back to us was sold.

The lesson is clear to everyone here:
resist the quick-buck mobs;
dont sell raw material to powers imperial;
it robs our people of jobs;

No thought for the future makes wounds without suture!
Treat nature with civility;
shout this word to the reckless herd:

Ed with a small fraction of his inventory. I think of him as hip deep in hubcaps and history. He told me more--all about the Emerald triangle and the potent petulia oil--so pungent a "perfume" that it is banned from red neck bars. But that's another blog.


Anonymous said...

Most people in the western states are probably glad that the sawmills are gone. They gave a town such a blue-collar image. So declasse!

It's much better for the economy of the town to shift to art galleries and latte shops. That, in turn, brings in California retirees and ex-pats who build 4000 square foot McMansions in the foothills, abutting the national forests.

Not a single two-by-four was required for these McMansions.

Randy said...

Why were 2x4's not required for mc Mansions. What are McMansions anyway?

Anonymous said...

Randy said...

Thanks anonymous for the wikipedia reference. I learned a lot. For those too lazy to get the full story, I will give the punch line: They are Mass produced mansions sometimes called "starter castles" and "Garage Mahals" and "Hummer Houses"