On the Roof at Eatonville

7. The Phone Company Fires Paul

I was about 11 years old and our family had moved to Eatonville where my Dad had a job working on a dam. Eatonville was near Mount Rainier. It was a small town. My folks had rented an apartment that was above the garage in the middle of town. Wherever we had lived all of us boys always got jobs of one kind or another. JC worked at the bank. He cleaned up the bank each evening. He had a key to the bank and I would help him. Mark had a job delivering the Seattle Post Intelligencer throughout the town. I would also help him deliver newspapers.

There was a small telephone company in the town. They had a very small office and it had a wood stove. I applied and got a job stacking the firewood when it was delivered and then each day to bring in wood for their stove. They had just gotten a large load of firewood and I dutifully stacked it in the woodshed. For the first few days I brought in the wood in sufficient quantity for the days heat.

The boss told me on about the second week to not bring in any green wood. Now that presented a problem to me. At that time I didn't have the faintest notion of what green wood was. But I faithfully looked over the wood and made sure that I did not bring in any wood with green moss on it. That was my concept of what green wood was. After all I was brought up in Southern California where we used natural gas. Two days later the boss told me I was fired. I just was not doing the job. I really didn't know why I was fired for a long time until much later someone told me what green wood was. I was not crushed. They only paid me 50 cents a week.

On the Roof of our Penthouse in Eatonville
JC, Paul and Mark Noll