By Fred Owens
I got into a political argument with a Trump man on Facebook. What a total waste of my energy. I did not unfriend the man, I merely said that we were done disputing for the time being and we can get back to it another time. That's Lane Dexter. He lives up in Newhalem in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle. Lane works at Diablo Dam. He's the one who turns open the floodgates when they need to let 'er rip.
Lane and I have been friends since 1970. That summer we worked fire together at Kindy Creek and at Jordan Creek. That was before crews got organized and trained for safety. If you showed up at the trail-head and you had boots on and you looked sober, they would hire you on the spot, take down your SS# and hand you a shovel and off you go.
So we worked the fires that summer and made a nice bundle of money. One day Lane, who was 16 at the time, asked to drive my truck. The truck was loaded in the back with hippies coming back from the the fire. I said sure Lane, it's all yours.
He promptly drove it into a ditch. Fortunately, we were only a half-mile from the commune at this point, so the hippies got out and walked home.
Lane felt embarrassed. The truck was in the ditch and dented, but a quick haul out was all that was necessary, The haul out came from Lane's dad Ralph Dexter, who was quite a resourceful fellow.
Ralph and Lane came over to our rented house the next evening -- our house was next to Pete Cuthbert's 76 station and across the road from the Pool Hall Hole on the river, where Glenn Mazen lived in the cabin which had been a pool hall. All the hippies went swimming bareback at the Pool Hall Hole. They had a rope swing on the limb of a giant big-leaf maple tree.
Anyway, Ralph and Lane came over to our house the next day in the evening. Ralph brought his Come-A-Long and a few other tools. He hooked up the Come-A-Long to the front fender, hitched the other end to a nearby tree, and straightened out the fender by working the lever.
A few taps with a hammer fixed some dents and she was as good as new, or as good as a 1955 International Harvester with a utility bed could be in 1970, being 15 years old at the time of the incident. The truck was fixed, and Lane got to be a much better driver after that.
Years later, we are still friends, so I won't cut him off on Facebook, but I am faced with this glaring contradiction.
How can this fellow, a dam operator in Newhalem, a former or present chief of the Volunteer Fireman in that village, and a grandfather -- how can such a fellow be a complete idiot over Trump? The mind boggles.
I can't fix it. Getting mad won't help. We will outlive this current insanity -- I will bet on that.
Summer Time. The weather has been hot and humid here in Santa Barbara, although it's nothing compared to August in St. Louis, or Houston, or Boston -- places where the weather gets really miserable this time of year.
Yet we suffer in Santa Barbara with the windows open and the fans running, hoping the onshore sea breeze will rise in the afternoon.
This morning it was a bit cooler, so I did the garden work for my customer with a bit of added energy, hedging the climbing rose with vigor.
World Cup. Vive la France! I don't care about the underdog, I want victory for France.
NATO Summit. Why didn't Angela Merkel smack him a good one? The man is an arch bully. He deserves his comeuppance and he will get it one day.