The Day I Met Doc


By Lars Sanders

In the spring of 1950 Rena and I came to Ebbetts Pass from Mendocino County where I had been falling redwoods. The coast redwood region had been on strike and we arrived in Arnold with an old station wagon, two small children, Forrest and Evelyn, one lab retriever and about fifteen dollars cash after we paid Vic Perino for a month’s rent on one of his little cabins by the butane station. Ed Wagner had the Texaco Station then and I asked him if he knew where I could get a job falling timber. He said to go up to the truck shop early in the morning and ask Doc Linebaugh if he might need a faller.

I went up there the next morning but Joe Hinesdorf, (Ed. note: Heinsdorf) the truck boss, told me that Doc had left already and would be at one of the landings, either on San Antonio Creek or up on Summit Level. I went out on San Antonio near Dorrington and parked out of the way and walked up to the landing. The first guy I walked up to was a landing-man with logger boots, stagged off jeans, a blue denim shirt, striped suspenders, metal rimmed glasses and an old felt hat. He had a big double-bit axe and he was bumping (chopping) knots.

I said “Hey swamper, can you tell me where I can find Doc Linebaugh?” He set his axe down, kind of leaned on it, took off his hat, wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand, and with a slight smile he said “I’m Doc Linebaugh!” I took a deep breath and stuck out my hand and introduced myself and told him I was looking for a falling job. He said, “Be here in the morning.” And I was, and was there almost every working morning for twenty-two years. Fourteen of those years was spent straight falling with a partner, which makes about three times as many stumps and saw-dust as a set of two men that fall, limb and buck the timber. I still help his sons, Glenn and Bruce, once in a while when they need a few trees cut down here and there.

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