|Muir's signature is third one down. Not sure about the others.|
Friday, July 10, 2015
A historic meeting
There’s something special about holding hands with history.
I stand here, inside this little lumberjack museum in tiny Pierce, Idaho, staring at this block of wood. So desperate to reach out. To flatten my hand on the name carved into it. J.H. MUIR.
John Muir. One of my idols. A man so in love with nature even his wife lovingly tossed him back outside into the hills to replenish his soul. He understood the need to maintain our waterways, our prairies, our mountainsides as living monuments to the planet that sustains them. He was the quintessential conservationist whose advocacy of all things natural led to the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.
And he battled the logging industry, weary with the raping of the land, the wholesale pillaging of great forests. So it’s ironic I’d come this close to shaking hands with one of my tree-hugging heroes inside a museum dedicated to an industry that takes those trees down.
Or is it?
This little museum, called the J. Howard Bradbury Memorial Logging Museum, obviously honors my hero, too. Because it chronicles the logging industry in Central Idaho, an industry that has evolved to understand the need to replenish the land, to replant in numbers equivalent to what’s taken. To conserve.
I suspect when a lumberjack felled the great tree and found the famous signature, he, too, felt he was holding hands with history.
And saved the piece to honor the man.