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More On My Wonderful Pop….The Greatest Man I Have known.

Story ID:9300
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Dillon Montana USA
Year:2013
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More On My Wonderful Pop….The Greatest Man I Have known.
By Chuck Dishno
October 2013

Not many people have come into my life that had the influence on me as my dear old Dad, Ed Dishno. I have written about him many times including my last post. This incident occurred at his funeral in 1959.

Pop had been a hard working cattle rancher in the first 40 years of his life but later became a timber faller and a good one I might add.

Pop was 75 when he died and his funeral was in Fresno, California, near where we lived. A lot of his logger friends attended. One was his woods boss, Jim, and he came up to me at the grave site and told me this story about my Pop.

Pop got colon cancer when he was 73 and had under gone surgery and the indignity of wearing a colostomy bag. This didn’t seem to bother him too much and he soon felt strong enough to want to go back to work. Pop was getting a small social security check each month but it was hardly enough for he and my Mom to live on. I was 3000 miles away, stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia and just finishing up my hitch in the Army and couldn’t be much help.

Pop, had stopped falling timber a couple of years earlier and was doing general work for the logging company. He would do any job they handed him.

Pop really felt that if he could work one more year, until he was 75 he and mom could make it OK and I would be home by then. He went to the woods boss, Jim, and asked to be put back to work for the next season. Jim told him that he thought he was too old and with his medical condition he just didn’t want to take the risk. Pop was never one to beg and having grown up in hard times wasn’t about to do it now.

Jim told me that Pop looked so forlorn he just couldn’t say no. He said that there was only one job that he might put him on and that was to dig holes under the stumps that were left after clearing the right-of-way for a new road that would be put in the next season. After the holes were dug, the next spring, the powder crew would come along and blast the right-of-way clear. Jim said that he told Pop to make the job last all summer as there was no other job he could give him.

Pop thanked him and the next morning he was dropped off at the work site. The logging crew had moved on so Pop was all by himself and instructed to take as much time as he could and stretch the job for the season. This ran against Pop’s grain and even though he wasn’t in the best health, he dug (pardon the pun) right in and finished the job in about two months. He then went to Jim and said he had completed the job and asked if there was anything else he could do until fall.

Jim said, “I just looked in your Pops eyes, with tears in my own and said, Ed, I told you to make the job last all summer. I am sorry but there is nothing I can do for you.” Jim then said, “Your Dad, said, well Jim, if that is the way it has to be I will accept it.” When Jim asked why he hadn’t stretched the work out couple of months longer, Pop told him, “I appreciated you giving me the work but I have never sloughed off on a job in my life and I wasn’t about to start now.” That was my Pop and his last job in the woods. Perhaps a little dejected but proud that he had never cheated a man in his life.

A few months later, cancer had come back with vengeance and he was hospitalized. This was especially hard on Mom since she had never driven a car and had to rely on others to take her the 70 miles to Fresno. I was still at Fort Lee but with the help of the Red Cross, and the Army, I was given a compassionate transfer to Fort Ord for discharge at the end of my hitch.

I got home in time to spend a good month with my beloved Pop and reminisce over the good times we had in our short 25 years together. Even though Pop was in much pain, he never lost his sense of humor. I had a 1956 Volkswgen and we had driven the 3000 miles in record time. Upon my arrival, Pop said, “Thank you for coming to me, Chum, I could just hear those Worsenwalkin wheels going clickity-clack all across the country.” When I reminded him that it was a Volkswagen, he said, “No, that thing was the only thing he had ever ridden in and it was worse-than-walking.

I thank God for this wonderful man that, was my Pop. I hope I learned a few things from him and how to treat my fellow man. Thank you Pop for being there for me. I have always said that if I could be no better than my dear old Pop, I would have succeeded in life beyond all my expectations.

I look forward to the time when I pass through those Pearly Gates and see Pop sitting on a cloud waiting for me. I just hope I am not riding in a Worsenwalkin.

I love you, Pop!