Rigging Shack Classic

Headquarters:

It is always a busy and cheerful time around here. Especially the one week a month that we are putting the paper together and addressing it and mailing it out to our readers. At that time we have a group of perhaps half a dozen ladies and girls who come in and quickly and efficiently do these things.

The printer will print two sections one weekend and the other two sections the following weekend. We will make two trips to the printer, bringing home two sections each time.

These are stacked in proper piles in a big room. When all four sections are here the girls go to work. They pack in different sections. They move them down a rack to a stapler. Two staples are driven thru the back. The finished papers are stacked in a large pile.

The girls from the addressing room then grab these papers and run them through the addressing machine. Here is where your name and address is stenciled on your copy of Loggers World.
 These are then packaged to town, each package labeled and string tied. Each package is put into a mail sack. The mail sack is addressed to a town or a section of the country.

When these pile up the sacks are counted and a pickup load goes to the Chehalis Post Office which is about a dozen miles away. There is some paper work that goes with this. There the postage is paid on that bunch and they are on their way to the readers.

Sometimes it takes four pick-up loads. Usually we start this on a Monday and normally it is finished up by Friday.

The people that take care of this putting the paper together and mailing it out are an outstanding group. Every month they try to do it better and faster than the month before. Usually they do this. Every month is an improvement over the last month.

They constantly come up with new ideas and methods of improving their jobs. A grand group of people and we are lucky to have them helping us.

Printer:

Our paper is printed at Marysville, Washington by the Marysville Globe. They have been printing Loggers World ever since we started and we are on our tenth year. They have good modern machinery and responsible skilled help. They get better and better and this is reflected by a constant upgrading of the printing and pictures in Loggers World. They deserve a lot more credit than they ever get.

Post Office

It is a popular national past time to run down the Post Office Department. Yet to me it approaches magic to be able to write a letter to anyone, anyplace, drop it in the mailbox and know that it is going to get there. Must be a hell of a fine system to be able to do that. The fact that this system slows down and breaks down sometimes isn’t surprising. I have never had anything to do with anything that worked every time for all time.

The post office people that we deal with here at Chehalis are a fine bunch of people. They watch out for us, take a lot of pride in their work and treat us as valued customers. Can’t say too many nice things about them.

Eldon Olin

As you know, Eldon (Ole) Olin is the fine artist and timber cruiser, forester, etc. from Springfield. In his spare time he keeps on making his outstanding drawings and painting his real as life pictures. If things go right we hope to have a new drawing from Ole in every issue or every other issue.

His work is being distributed thru the efforts of his wife “Bunny”. She is getting out notepaper, napkins and place mats with Ole’s drawings on them. The other day she ordered a hundred thousand of them. So you’ll be seeing them in better restaurants around the country. Glad of that because Ole’s work deserves to be seen and enjoyed by more people.

Buzz Martin

The other day Buzz dropped in for a quick visit. He was returning from a big deal he had in Seattle. His career is going good. Now has an excellent manager from Los Angeles and it looks as though he will be busy busy at his work of singing logging songs. Understand that is a chance he will be appearing on HEE HAW and on other television shows.

Our best wishes, strong congratulations go with Buzz and we are happy about the increasing recognition of his talents as the Singing Logger.

Speeches

As Loggers World grows the pressures on me to work harder and smarter grows too. So I have had to cut out a lot of fun things I used to be able to do. Announcing Logging Shows was one thing and talking to groups another.

I gave in to Bud Petit and got scheduled for a talk at the Governor’s Safety Conference. As I stood up and looked at the room full of people I wondered what in hell I was doing there. There wasn’t a man in that room that didn’t know more about logging and logging safety than I did. It was darned cheeky of me to get up there and think I could say anything they would remember or that would do them any good.

Strengthens my idea that logging safety needs more representation from the people doing the logging. They are the experts and they know what works and what doesn’t. The more participation we get from those that fall timber, set chokers and so forth the better our record of safety will get.

Movie

Some time back I eagerly watched a logging movie that had to do with safety. It was made by a Weyerhaeuser logging crew. They made a bunch of dummies, that looked like loggers, and put them into dangerous situations. They showed what happened to those dummies. Took a strong stomach to watch it, even though you knew it wasn’t real men getting hurt.

This movie had such a good idea behind it that it was remade and circulated around. If you get a chance to see it you should do so. Again, it was done by the people doing the logging. If you see it y ou will learn from it and you won’t quickly forget what you saw.

Cameras

Much of our business is photography. To do a good job it is easier if you have good equipment. I have bought thousands of dollars worth of cameras, lights, filters, camera bags, film, paper, chemicals and so forth in order to get and to print logging pictures. We take pictures in almost impossible conditions and do it regularly.

Our proud boast is that if you can do the work we can take a picture of it. So we are constantly photographing loggers working in the rain, the snow, in storms and in good weather. We keep saying, ‘If you can work in it, we can take pictures in it.’ This may not be entirely true but we try to make it come true.

We come in for some criticism from professional photographers from time to time, along with good solid suggestions that could help us. I have constantly studied this business and have worked to get better equipment and learn how to use it to its best potential. I have experimented with bags, pack sacks, vests, different sizes of cameras and other things. All this is an effort to get better pictures easier. Some of our schemes have worked and some have failed.

Earl Roberge, who is the best photographer I know, has generously helped us in all areas of photography. He shares his knowledge and techniques generously. I appreciate it.

When we started this paper we wanted real pictures of real loggers doing what they normally do at the time and at the place when we are there. I felt that a camera is a recording instrument, such as a tape recorder. The camera, as we use it, is supposed to record what is going on here and now. Just as a person might see it. No trick shots, no oblique angles etc. Just a pictorial reading of what is going on here and now.

In this business one gets lots of advice and suggestions. This makes it difficult to stay with the original idea at times. Then too the original idea may have been and could have been wrong. So we have a tendency to vacillate, first this way and then that way. We learn by trying and we try to learn.

Our problems of photography are many. We must get a quantity of pictures in the quickest possible time. We must get our pictures under the conditions as we find them. We don’t have the time to wait or the time to come back again on a better day. We travel with our gear thru the brush and out to where the logging is going on. We must have enough equipment and still be able to travel over the rough ground. Normally we take nearly a thousand pictures for each issue, then select the ones we like the best.

To us it is the men doing the work who have the highest priority. No job, no machine, can amount to much until the men get there to make everything work. We want logging men in every picture possible.

One finds as he watches loggers working that normally and naturally they have their backs to the camera. Very difficult to get them all facing the right way. So we must compensate for that.

The photographer should know logging. He must be able to get where he wants to be without interrupting the work or getting into a dangerous area. We try never to interfere with the log production. A photographer that doesn’t know the logging procedure could get hurt or killed. In fact he probably would, without a guide.

Because logging photography has many problems it is also the most interesting. Sometimes all the good factors are present and we get what we consider to be outstanding pictures. This happens often enough to keep us going and keep us trying.

Our best pictures, in our opinion, are those that would never win a contest or accolades from other professionals. They suit us and I hope suit you.

People are ordering more and more pictures from us, which is gratifying.

The other day a good man wrote to us and said something like, “Your pictures are the best ever taken of logging. They show logging as it is. Not as we wish it was. Your pictures are true to life and one knows you aren’t setting them up. I think that one of the biggest failures of most photographers is trying to arrange things so they will make a good salon type picture. I believe that if LIFE magazine had taken pictures of things as they are they would be here today. Instead of that they arranged and tried to make every picture an artistic masterpiece. After the picture was judged on its technical mastery it was an empty picture.

Keep up your work just as you are doing it.”

You can’t imagine the energy, the faith and the appreciation that that letter generated.

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