David H. South of Bemidji March 2009Photography by Julie Saari
I found David quite by accident. I knew I wanted a logger to be part of my project. But, how does one find a logger? After all they work in the woods. I happened across a site, took a chance and scrawled a note on a piece of paper and stuck it on the truck at the site. I was praying he didn't think me crazy. Instead, he called me. He was excited. See, David knows he has a story, and he was ready to tell it. To me this is the best kind of story; one of a life well lived, and lived simply.
The day I took David's pictures it was his 63rd birthday. He was ready to go and had everything planned to make my experience easier. What he may not have known is I loved being out in the woods. I could have stayed all day; the trees, the smells, the quiet taken over by one lone chainsaw.
David has a story, here it is:
I grew up on a farm near Guthrie. My first involvement with the timber industry was my brother and I cutting aspen off our family farm to sell to the Nu Ply plant in Bemidji. We used our Ford farm tractor and a two wheel trailer loading and unloading all the wood by hand. After we had stacked the cut pulpwood in a place a truck could reach we hired a logger who had a truck to haul it to NuPly.
After graduating from high school I continued to log some in the same way and also to work for loggers who had more specialized equipment. Until I graduated from the University of Minnesota, Forestry school, spring 1970; I worked weekends and breaks logging for myself or for loggers to pay my way through school. By the time I graduated I knew I really enjoyed logging. The development of rubber tired skidders and hydraulic log loaders had taken the backbreaking labor out of the process and made it possible to log more difficult terrain. However, before I could start logging full time I had a military obligation to fulfill........
Written by David Horn
To read the rest of David's story head over here: This is my town: Bemidji