My 82 year old optometrist and two other octogenarians stopped by today and dragged, as near as I can figure, five cords of wood out of my yard.(Five big heaping ass bobcat trailer loads) I helped what I could, but I’m recovering from a cold. At approximately 6000 lbs a cord for unseasoned oak, I figure that’s about 15 tons of wood. Most of it unsplit, too, so it’s a damned good thing we had a bobcat- but let me tell you something about these specific octogenarians. Dr Wes, of course, notable for riding his harley all around the damed continent at an age when many men are riding bedpans; another man who had flown halfway around the world in aircraft of every sort, and the third a legit operator who I know from having seen the aftermath of his work; he broke the arm and ribcage of a guy who was tuning up his wife in the parking lot of Home Depot (Not the operator’s wife). Said operator, in his 80’s, was picking up 16″ diameter by 4′ long chunks of green oak and tossing them over the wheel wells of the trailer. He was in his 70’s when he stopped the altercation in the parking lot and broke a man’s arm and ribcage with his bare hands. I will not be pissing him off. And he had a rescue dog, a Jack Russel who is inseparable from him, who may be the cutest dog I saw this week, and I look at a lot of dogs. Said Jack Russel circled me and barked and barked but wagged furiously all the while, as if to say, You’re with Dad, so I approve, and I like the way you smell fine, but I have to make a show of it, ok? When my back was turned he snuck up and sniffed my heels and wagged like a maniac. An awesome dog with a face half black like William Wallace.

Anyway, three men old enough to have been my Dad’s travelling companions made me look like a wimp. And I will say that to anyone who asks, they are tough old birds and I am proud to know them. They season the firewood and split it and sell it, and use the money to help a group of indigents who live down on the Kankakee. After they have taklen this wood and half of what is left I will still have enough to keep me in heat for years.