Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Sawmill Girls Are No Longer With Us.......

Nearly all of the lumber that I use I buy locally direct from the sawmill. Pretty large mill with a huge onsite drying kiln, and a real pleasant place to do business. I've always got treated fairly and usually have some fun there. I made a trip there today and it kinda reminded me of the thing that I really miss there now... the Sawmill Girls.

The Sawmill Girls were always a treat to encounter. These girls were hardworking, blue collar, manual labor types... and just a little more than a tad, "rough around the edges". Don't get me wrong, they were always as sweet as could be, but if you'd have met them anywhere else, you mighta been just a little afraid of 'em. :-)

They came and went over the years, with a couple that stuck with the job for a long long time. They changed the operation around quite a bit, moved the girls over to the barrel stave (what they make wine and whiskey barrels out of) buildings and they're not over in the finished lumber building anymore at all.

The 2 that hung on for years were a pair. Flirt? Oh my goodness... not a shy bone in their bodies. Now before you think "Good Lord, the man is married". Sally went up there with me a few times and let's just say she never felt threatened by the girls.

When I've told people about them in the past I usually described them as "the bigger one and the smaller one" 'cause that just worked best. The smaller one, "Ruth" was a pistol. Nary a tooth in her head for a looong time until she went and got herself some genuine store bought teeth. Made all the difference in the way she looked, but I was always a little distracted by the fact that that menthol cigarette was somehow glued to her bottom lip and it just kinda bounced around all willy nilly like while she talked to me. Made it real hard to focus on anything else that was going on.

The girls job, when not tending to lumber customers was gluing up and pinning barrel heads, and I was always taken back a little by the fact that they always had a book on cassette playing while they worked... and not the kind of book you'd generally stereotype them with, real heady stuff sometimes. Just noticed that over time... that's all.

The larger one, "Jamie" was even more of a pistol that Ruth. Jamie had more piercings than you could shake a stick at. Take all the things outta those holes, put her outside on a windy day and you coulda played that girl like a flute. Seriously, I have no clue how many holes that girl had in her... that I could see. A couple of pretty harsh tats that you could see in warmer weather when shirts were a little skimpier. Always a pack of Marlboro reds rolled up in her shirt sleeve and most importantly.... perfume. Lots of it. A WHOLE lot of it. She had to have freshened up her aroma a few times during the day because these girls did some very hard work in a very hot place. I usually told her she smelled nice and that was like the ultimate compliment that she got evidently. Usually got me a better deal or the offer of one of her smokes. :-)

When it came time to load up the lumber I'd bought, there wasn't any slacking on their part... hell they'd carry 4 1"x10"x10' white oak planks at a time, when I was toting 2. I think even the little one coulda kicked my butt.

Our son Jake came home from a refinery job out in Denver once with several bags of insulated leather gloves. Every day that he walked on the job the saftey officer was there handing out a new pair of gloves, safety glasses and a wad of ear plugs. (big oil has bottomless pockets incase you'd forgotten what you're paying at the pump right now lol) Anyway, lots of these gloves didn't even get worn and he just threw em in his truck at the end of the day... some guys just tossed 'em in the garbage, but man these were $15 work gloves. I took a batch of 'em up to the mill one day to the girls and Lord have mercy! You'd have thought that I'd just unloaded the latest Beverly Hills fashions and said "FREE!"

Gotta love a gal that's pleased with new leather gloves.

Anyhow, now it's just Jim up there. I like him and all and we always have a nice visit and he treats me real good and gives me some deals if I buy a bunch.... but he don't smell like perfume and ain't got any piercings.... that I can see.

I sure miss those gals.


gracie said...

Jim and I would like to send our condolences.

Sometime over the past cuppla years, you took Jim over to meet *The Girls* and they weren't there...guess that's an opportunity that's gone forever now. Unless they've gotten new say...Sonic.....or Los Jimadores......Dung Pao's ;)

Vicky said...

Those gals sound like they were a hoot! Kinda reminds me of the ex-truck driver secretary I had many years ago. She definitely did the heavy lifting in our office!