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84 and still climbing

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Bounce

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A customer walked into our store today that I have to tell you all about. His name is Wilfred Larson and he is 84 years old. He was in to buy some new climbing gear because his son lost most of the gear he gave to him 20 years ago. Mr. Larson was in the 82nd Airborne and jumped into Normandy on D-day and later into Belgium and Germany. He told me was shot 4 times during WWII and was wearing his combat infantry badge today while I spoke with him. After the war, he went to work as a smoke jumper for the Forest Service where he stayed for another 20 years or so. After that, he worked for the Washington State Dept of Fish and Wildlife (not sure doing what). Now he is retired and wants to do some climbing again mainly just for the fun of it. As I shook his hand outside, I realized I was shaking the hand of a legend - the kind of man most of us hope to be but very few ever are. You don't get to meet somebody like that everyday and I just wanted to share my experience.
 

OTGBOSTON

punk in drublic
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Jan 18, 2007
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Tha Dirty Bean...Boston Massachusetts
I got a call one time about some unauthorized work being done on a city tree. When I got there I almost fell over at the sight of a 79yo guy in the tree with his 75yo wife as the groundperson. After talking to him I found out he is a retired S.E.A.L. and good friends with my mentor/dive instructor. it was very inspirational and I still see him out climbing once in a while.
 

No_Bivy

Treehouser
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fred beckey...84...still clamberin'......:lol:
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will

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What a great story. I had a dude get some fire wood from a job said he was 90.
 

squisher

THE CALM ONE!!!!
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Sep 25, 2006
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Vernon, B.C.
Not the same but still had a 77 year old man under my bucket truck with me yesterday helping me put the pto and pump back on. Respect for the oldtimers who are still living life to the fullest.
 

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
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Well,to tell the truth my father was still running a saw and him passed 80 . Towards the end though his old PM 610 Mac was getting a bit too much for him so he borrowed one of my little Poulans on occasion .
 
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TreeRhino

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Did some side work with a guy a few years that was in his mid seventies. He had a hard time getting around on the ground but once in spikes he was like a squirrel. Really cool. His wife asked us to help him out because she was worried about him but he wouldn't let us do any work. he took down three large loblollys in one day. Really amazing. he had a one man operation he called "Old Man in a Tree."

Impressive, for sure.
 

sotc

Dormant hero!!
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Dec 6, 2005
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So. Oregon
haha, done that a few times. one time i was putting a pto in a water truck and id let go with one hand to grab a bolt but it was to heavy so id put 2 hands on again. i called a buddy over to start a bolt while i held it, he did kinda. i let go, reached for another bolt and took the pto in the head! dont be that kind of buddy;) if you were closer id be glad to help:) good thing you got a ramrod to unload the new tranny with!!
 

sotc

Dormant hero!!
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Dec 6, 2005
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outdoor job eh? if its not on concrete you better bring a sheet of ply wood to put the jack on
 

squisher

THE CALM ONE!!!!
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Sep 25, 2006
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23,841
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Vernon, B.C.
Outdoor front yard of a customer job (thank you Carl for being so understanding). I've saved myself a fortune by not having to tow or pay someone to wrench.

And I'm already all over the plywood thing.:D
 

stehansen

Climbing Up
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Aug 25, 2005
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Location
Ceres, CA
My Dad is 84 and he is doing pretty good but not tree climbing good. He was on a troop ship headed west somewhere in the Pacific when the atomic bomb was dropped. They then diverted their liberty ship to Manilla. He said the women in the PI were really pretty. Ya know, I cannot remember him ever mentioning that he wanted to be under Squisher's truck, installing a tranny, AND using plywood. Most people don't dare to dream so high I guess. Now you've got me all emotional.:D:D:D
 

gf beranek

Old Schooler
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Apr 18, 2007
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God's country, North Coast
Most of the woods workers I've known around my parts never retired until their 70's. In fact I've known a few to stick with it until their 80's.

For about half it was the love of the work. For the rest, they just couldn't afford to retire.

It's different today. Most people my age have gotten out of the woods and gone on to less physical jobs, and better paying ones.
 

Al Smith

Mac Daddy
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Mar 6, 2005
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Location
Northern Ohio
An old grizzly coot I used to help out with when in high school kept it up until he as passed 70 .

The old boy had a small midwestern hardwood mill and also made pallets .Tough old coot ,ran big olds McCulloch saws on those big oaks .Rode Harleys until a stroke shut him down in his early 80's but made it to over 90 before he cashed out .
 
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