Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame

The Great Watch Caper

Story ID:7292
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana USA
View Comments (4)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
More memories from my past...

The Great Watch Caper…
By Chuck Dishno

As I have told before, my Dad, Ed Dishno was originally a cattle rancher in Montana but I only knew him as a timber faller. Pop was 50 when I was born in Bly, Oregon.

I was fortunate to work with hin in the woods cutting big trees where he taught me many values of life that I still cling to today. I have posted quite a few stories about the great man on this site and I keep remembering more.

This story happened about 1950, the first summer I worked with Pop and his partner, Herb, who owned the chain saws. Pop was the expert faller and would instruct both of us just how much wood to hold in order to make the tree fall where he wanted.

Pop was always a stickler for punctuality and would never go anywhere without his trusty pocket watch. He had a gold Hamilton watch that he bought when he was a rancher but that was too valuable to him to take into the woods. At that time, Ingersoll, made a cheap watch that sold for $1.00. This suited Pop just fine and a watch would usually last all season.

They would usually take quite a bit of abuse, but one day Pop took his watch out of his watch pocked to see how near it was getting to lunch time. I saw him look at it then shake it and put it up to his ear. I knew something was wrong and when I asked him how soon we would break for lunch, he said, “I don’t know, Chum, my dollar watch has stopped.” His partner, Herb, came over and said he could fix it. I guess Pop believed him as he handed over the watch to Herb. Herb then took out his pocked knife and popped off the back. He then laid the watch face down, on a stump from a Sugar Pine tree we had just fallen.

I should explain that these were large trees sometimes measuring 8 feet across the stump. In order to fall the giants, the faller had to make and undercut in the direction he wanted the tree to go. He would then go around the tree and start his main cut. As his saw went deeper into the tree, Pop or I would drive long ash wedges into the cut to keep the tree from settling down and pinching the chain saw. These wedges were about 16 inches in length and we would tap them in with a small sledgehammer. Sometimes as many as 4 or 5 wedges were used.

After Herb had placed the watch on that green stump he was looking at it very intently and we all assumed he knew what he was doing. He sure did! While we were engrossed in his work, Herb stepped back, picked up the 8-pound sledgehammer and took a mighty swing. His aim was perfect and the watch sunk about 2 inches into the stump. He said, “There, Ed, I fixed your watch.” Pop just laughed and said, “By God, Herb, you sure did fix it but I don’t think it will keep too good a time now.” Pop knew he had been had and looked up at the sun, then said, “I think it’s about noon and we should all sit down to eat.”

We all had a good laugh over Herb’s prank and all was forgiven. The next day, Herb presented Pop with a brand new dollar watch and I had another story to file away in my memory bank.

Pop lived another 8 years until cancer took it’s dreadful toll on this wonderful man. I was fortunate to have him as my ”Pop”.

I am certain that Pop is in Heaven now and in possession of a gold Ingersoll pocket watch. He is sure to keep a sharp eye out for Herb sneaking around the corner of a cloud with a sledgehammer in his hand.

My how I loved that old man and the values he instilled in me.