There, I ran into a group of folks and shared my predicament. I left the chainsaw in the back of my truck and expressed the hope someone would snatch it. The idea that a thief could steal my problem brought me some sense of light. Preston asked if I would like a job clearing fallen tress from his property. He stated that he went out that morning and bought a new chainsaw, but upon starting it realized he was in fear of using it. He offered to give me his new saw and pay an hourly wage if I would cut up and remove his debris . He then asked, “Do you have any one who can help you with the hauling.” Standing behind him, I noticed my friend Lenny.
Lenny sported the telltale handkerchief around his neck hiding the hole left from surgery to remove his larynx. Apparently while I was away he received treatment for his cancer. I asked, “Do you feel up to helping me load and haul branches.” He beamed and nodded in the affirmative. We had a deal. I got a new saw and we both could earn some cash. To top it off, I would now be able to gather loads of firewood. We got in my pickup and headed off to another adventure. For the time, we got used to Lenny using a device that supplied vibration to his voice box so he could speak. His messages got garbled. It seemed he was trying to annunciate whole sentences instead of single words at a time. At one point he kept reiterating a sentence that sounded like, “There are elephants in the subway.” I would look at him and repeat what I just thought I heard. Lenny would shake his head and say again the same phrase. I could not get him to slow down and give it to me a word at a time. It seemed we battled back and forth while we filled the pickup with our first load of branches.
With our truck full, we headed off to a field where there was a gathering of branches that would eventually be chipped. On the way we stopped for coffee. Lenny somehow imparted that was the phrase he was trying to get across to me. There were no elephants in the subway, he only wanted a break. It took us all day to clear out Preston’s fallen pines. We finished up thankful to have a new saw and some cash. Preston also offered us more work on another property he had. Lenny was exhausted and left me to work by myself. That was OK and I spent the next few days cutting and gathering wood. All told, by the time I headed back to Atlanta, I put up over eight cords of firewood and a shed full of exotic species to be milled later for woodworking. I left Lenny behind. He was scheduled to begin radiological treatment for his cancer. He seemed hopeful and positive his prognosis was good. In the meantime, I heard from Joe., He was not doing well. It seemed his trip to Denver exhausted him and took him away from his treatments that likely were necessary to keep him healthy. I wrapped up my wood gathering exploits and headed to Atlanta.