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Blue Underwear or To BVD or Not To BVD…

Story ID:8719
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Blue Underwear or To BVD or Not To BVD…
By Chuck Dishno
February 2013

When I was a very young lad in Oregon, My Dad was a timber faller. He was what was referred to as a Gypo faller, meaning he worked for himself and was paid by the board feet of lumber in a fallen tree.

Pop could pretty much figure the board feet just by the size of the tree but the forest service that let the contracts out had their own scaler. He carried a large caliper that measured first one end of a log then the other and by using a chart he could calculate the yield of the log. Pop was just a accurate as this government man but he wasn’t taking any chances. The tally went to the sawmill and that was how Pop was paid.

In Pop’s back pocket he kept a large blue crayon that he used to mark the stump and the end of each log. This number was written down on the scaler’s log book so Pop got credit for his fallen trees.

Pop usually wore the same overalls for a week or two or until Mom could no longer look at them. She would then wash them over the weekend. Pop hated to wear new overalls so he didn’t have any spare. He would buy a new pair at the beginning of the logging season and make them do until the snow began to fall and end the season. Mom got to wash them several times a season and that was good enough for Pop.

One Saturday, she rescued the overalls, got out the #3 washtub, put in boiling water and then the pants. This time she was in a hurry and forgot about the large blue crayon in the hip pocket. In her haste to get these washed before Pop got up, she decided to wash his long-handled underwear in the same tub as the pants. To her horror, when she took them out she realized the mistake she had made…the crayon and turned the underwear a bright blue. After much rinsing, she gave up and hung them on the clothesline hoping Pop wouldn’t see them.

Mom kept Pop busy all weekend and when she laid out his work clothes Monday morning, Pop went ballistic.

Now Pop was a very even-tempered man and rarely got mad but this was too much. He pounded his fist on the breakfast table that shook the entire house and woke me up. I remember hearing him yell, “I never wore blue underwear and I never will.” Pop’s temper was an instantaneous one that would evaporate just as fast as it came on. When Mom put her hands on her hips and said, “Now, Ed, you will have to wear them since that is all you have until I go to the store and buy you another pair.

I need to explain how Pop dressed for worked. He wore a dark shirt over his underwear until he began to sweat. He would then take the shirt off and let the breeze evaporate the sweat and keep him coo. When he got warm he would put the shirt back on and start the process all over again. Smart man!

Pop soon calmed down and agreed to wear those bilious blue things. He said he didn’t care too much but dreaded the ribbing he would get from the other loggers. He was also concerned about how many of our neighbors saw them hanging on the clothesline on the side of the house.

All was soon forgotten and Pop’s encounter with those blue unmentionables with the drop-down back flap It became a household joke and Mom would say, “Ed, if you don’t do what I want, I will dye your BVD’s pink next time.” This would invoke much laughter, but Mom made sure she checked the pockets before washing again.

Mom and Pop have gone to their reward in Heaven now. I just hope if Mom has to wash Pop’s Heavenly Robe, she checks the water first and make sure there are no crayons or else the air may turn as blue as Pop’s underwear.