As a young man, my dad decided to broaden his horizons and so, he headed out to California, where his brother, my Uncle Bill and his wife would eventually join him. While out there, Dad worked at McDonald Douglas, helping to build airplanes. That would eventually help him in his job as flight engineer in the Army Air Forces in World War II.
After the war, and after his brother, my Uncle Bill, my Dad again headed out to California to work in a lumber yard. I don’t know if this was the only job they did out there, but if it was, I would be surprised. I think most single people, especially the young ones tend to try out a few vocations, before settling on a career…and this would not be my dad’s career choice either…no would California be his choice of a place to live. Nevertheless, he and Uncle Bill did work in the lumber yard in the Eureka, California area. Their job was to pull the lumber off of the “Green Chain”. A green chain is a type of lumber delivery system used in the 19th and early to late 20th century to collect the final product of the mill and move it at a controlled rate. The men, like my dad and Uncle Bill, would stand alongside and pull lumber that matched the required dimensions and place it in piles. Basically the lumber was sorted by hand. Modern sawmills use automatic systems to place the lumber in an area where it can dry. The green chain was most likely called that because it was a way of setting the green lumber in a staging area for drying before it could be used. I would think that this type of job would be rather boring, and that is also most likely why they didn’t stay in that career.
The thing that I found most interesting about these pictures, is not what the men were doing, but rather that I had to read the list of men in the picture before it hit me that one of them was my dad. I suppose it could be that the picture wasn’t of the best quality, but I really think that it was because my dad was so much younger in the picture. He was very handsome, and I could see why my mother fell for him the minute she saw him. He was rugged and friendly, with a nice smile. I am glad that he and Uncle Bill didn’t stay in California, because then he wouldn’t have met my mom, and my sisters and I would not have been born.