Re: I Met Myself Last Night...
Josh noticed the man first, nodding toward a spot just upriver from where we were busy unloading the trailer. We seldom saw folks back this far from what passes for "the main road," as it required quite the hike into "Trail's End." Yet, there he sat, almost heron-like on a stump that no doubt rivaled him in age.
We continued pulling the lumber and stacking it for later, marveling at the fact that these boards were true 1-inch x 6, 8, 10 or 12-inch in size, not the undersized framing material one commonly found in a lumber yard. A local timber concern had hand-milled the boards from downed trees on the property two years before, drying and storing them until they were needed. Now, as they had once provided shade for the little cabin known as "Trail's End," they would remain nearby, acting as support for the porch and other necessary repairs.
As we neared the end of the load, Josh's question was obvious-- "Well?" Taking my cue, I wandered over toward the visitor, catching the scent of his cigar long before I saw the stub of it tucked in one corner of his mouth. As I stood a few short feet away and looking out over the horseshoe bend in the river, he quietly asked, "You the kid?"
I hadn't heard that phrase in years, though my elders often referred to me as either "the kid" or "Buck," my grandfather's nickname for me and my "enthusiastic" way of going about things.
At any rate, I told him that I was-- once --and that affirmation was followed with this question... "Gonna fix up the old place?" Again, I answered "Yes," at which he rose, re-adjusted his cigar and said in a voice that trailed off as he walked, "Then, I guess I'll be seein' ya..." No introductions and no "how do you do's" exchanged... just a short bit of idle conversation on the edge of a river.
Turning to head back up to the cabin, I finally noticed the faint trail that the stranger's feet followed with the kind of knowledge that only comes with familiarity. I'm guessing that "Trail's End" is something special to us both...
Jerry, aka hairwing530