Lessons from Old Man Bill
Welcome to our Manlihood ManCast, a podcast for men! In this episode of the Manlihood ManCast, Josh Hatcher reminisces about working for Bill Sauers. Bill owned an antiquated sawmill from the 1800’s – and working for bill taught Josh many lessons.
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Here are some of the life lessons I learned from working with Old Man Bill on the sawmill!
- Don’t shovel the same pile poop twice
- Work Smarter Not Harder
- Don’t let go! (Old Bill and the scaffolding)
- Work is it’s own reward (An ode to hard work)
Josh Hatcher wrote a book of poetry that featured some of his stories from working on the sawmill with Bill.
OLD MAN AND THE MILL: ONE BY JOSH HATCHER
From Sweat, Sawdust, and the Millpond – a poem featured on the Manlihood podcast for men
She was a beauty.
Ancient and upcycled old saw mill.
I have no idea what was original, and what has been replaced and hobbled. The antique yellow engine, half the age of the rest sputtered and coughed up diesel, spinning her belt.
The old sawn boards, greyed and cragged by the sun – cracks filled with white pine sawdust.
The old steel, tracks and carriage were black, with orange crust creeping at the edges. We kept it and the massive blade covered with rubber tarps, but moisture always found a way in….
Just enough to leave a little crust, not enough to eat it away.
My job was to clean the bark with an old crowbar. The bath in the deep millpond usually did it’s trick. The bark would shed like t-shirt… mostly in one piece.
We spun the log on the carriage, Old Man Bill and I.
I’d dodge his occasional curses as she played with him.
She’d taunt and tease. After all, she was much older than Old Man Bill.
And I’d stand on the backside of the blade, guiding the timbers over the rollers to the forklift.
On a hot day, she would reward me, coating me with wet sawdust and millpond spray. Oh, the smell of white pine and pond water and diesel was the best summer.
And at the end of the day, the spring that fed the millpond would give me a drink. I’d stick my whole face into the hole in the ground and suck the water in. Drowning just long enough to cool my hot tongue.
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