Scaling Tall Timber
Author: Dave Folsom
Scotty Jackson is a scaler. He examines cut timber to help identify the amount of good lumber that can be used and obtained from the wood. He is one of many men that work at this job. But, Scotty decides he needs a change and leaves his job in Missoula and heads for Sutton’s Landing where the workload might be the same but the head person is definitely different. Meeting Augustus Horne might deter anyone from remaining in his employ but not Scotty. From the author of Finding Jennifer comes a unique and very informative and interesting novel dealing with the timber industry Scaling Tall Timber by Dave Folsom.
When meeting Augustus for the first time his job requirements are specified and his demeanor is anything but friendly as he explains the hours, the requirements and how the job is done. Each scaler must be able to identify the species, the dimensions and defects and they need to be noted and placed in scale book and totaled daily. There are specific procedures that must be followed by the log scaler each time the timber is cut in order to determine defects in the log. So, why would Scotty want to move to a new location and why Suttons Landing? That still remains to be seen.
Meeting his scaling partner Olie Federson he learned more about the operation and the people involved. But this job proves challenging in many ways not just the scaling but the people that Scotty meets are quite unique and different from those at his other job. He meets several women that find him attractive, but he has not been through a traumatic loss and needs time to adjust to his new surroundings and much more before dealing with relationships. Meeting Rags, an alcoholic truck driver who is trying recover, two women that like him and the western logging industry and the huge changes coming this book has many plot lines, themes but one stands out that before all is said and done he will learn the true meaning of friendship, loyalty and trust. With a difficult boss to deal with and hoping to stay afloat, he learns more than just about life as a logger and scaler.
Friendships were difficult to cultivate and others were strained. Scotty took things in stride and realized that some people could not be won over and others would just tolerate his presence. Sent up to replace another scaler Scot learns some hard lessons and just might prove more than his worth. Changes were imminent. Jobs and men lost or moved to other locations and he would now be in the position of woods boss but the end result would be dramatic as a dam would be build, a small town and its residents wiped out, unlimited logging gone and things would become more expensive. Homes lost and people moved and his former partner sent to work with him at Sutton’s Landing and his new one sent to where he originally came from. Accidents, injuries and equipment destroyed as one man’s life hangs in the balance.
The Corps Engineers came to Sutton’s Landing to assess the property, start the ball rolling for the installation of the dam and to decide which properties were affected. The fight was on as Scott decided that these people deserved some representation and that they were not going down with a true battle. When the Corps Engineers arrived and the confrontations began Scott would learn just whom is friends are and just how lucky he was to have moved to this place. What happens to everyone you have to learn for yourself? Will they lose everything or will they get a last minute save? What happens when a new hydroelectric dam is supposed to take the place of real labor and hard working people? What happens when one small town finds itself about to be under water?
Rita and Jake Conley become quite close with Scott as he allows himself to move on and tries to develop a life for himself after losing his girlfriend. Rags is an alcoholic will he overcome his addiction? Will the guys that tested him become his friends or will the hostilities remain? So, what does happen you have to find out for yourself as I promised Scott and his boss Horne I would not tell. One tragedy brings a lot to light as safety is first and foremost and when not followed someone could definitely get killed. Where does everyone wind up? Read the book and learn how one small town called Sutton’s Landing came together as a community to deal with changes, technology and friendships that would last a life time and be remembered.
Author Dave Folsom takes the reader deep into the woods, the forest and logging industry giving us lessons in scaling, logging and a true understanding of how difficult and important this job is. When people are replaced with scales will they get a fair deal? One man named Scott Jackson learned more than just how to be a great scaler and woods boss. Lessons learned by so many and those that resented him would always remember him when he was gone. Watch out for the next woods boss. Hope you pass Frenchy’s test because if you don’t well you figure it out when you read this great book.
Fran Lewis: reviewer