Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The planting papers: Pine cone baseball.

Downtime: as a tree planter it is something you learn to love and loath. Whether it be because of equipment failure, lack of trees to plant or weather, there was always something. Murphy's rules always applied. There were many, many days when you'd find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere, with nothing in particular to do. Boredom often leads to the silliest of human ideas.

On this day we were deep in the woods, standing around by the side of a bumpy old dirt road. We had no trees to plant. There were of course those that had hacky sacks, those things flew around everywhere and always. Hacky sack though, was never my game, I am not all that good with my feet. I am much better with my hands. What were those of us not kicking at a sack supposed to do with their time? Smoke? Bien sur, mais, apres ca?

Pine cone baseball? Of course, why didn't I think of that...wait, maybe I did? The rules were simple: The bat was a planting shovel (take a look), the ball a pine cone (pine cone?). I was pitching.

Rewind to a couple weeks before this pine cone baseball classic. It was mid season break. A one or two week vacation that separated the spring, from the summer planting seasons. Basically a 2 week orgy of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. Folks were getting tattoos, I decided to get a bull ring. It was the summer of 1995, I had braids with multicolored elastics in my hair, I wore tie-dyed teeshirts, baggy combat pants, Doc Martens and the new addition a great big ring through my nose. I was larger than life. I truly believed I could glow in the dark.

Now where were we? Right, I had a pine cone in my hand, I was the pitcher. I threw a few unhittable cones, I may have even squeaked a few strikes past J.F, but he finally got a hold of a high hard one...WHACK! It happened so fast, the pine cone no sooner left my hand, when there was a flash, I saw it coming, but I had no time to react...WHACK, indeed. J.F had hit a line drive, the pine cone nailed me right in the cheek, my bull ring flew out of my nose and into the woods, never to be seen again. I was left with the imprint of a pine cone on my cheek for over a week. The owner of the company, who just so happened to be visiting that very same night, had this to say: 'Jesus Joe what did you do to yourself this time?'. To which I grinned and said: 'Downtime, what else was there to do?'.


  1. Oh those young & crazy ideas! What FUN! You'll have those memories to keep forever - cherish each one...

  2. Ya but now I cringe everytime I see a pine cone. Eeeeks and it is fast approaching Xmas. There will be decorative pine cones everywhere. The horror, the HORROR!

  3. Theres a book in there somewhere Joe...gimme more....

  4. Thanks for the support Brian. The funny thing about books, they have to be written. They take time... a blog post takes me about an hour everyday. A book, well I'd need a hyperbolic chamber, I'd need to be completely shut off from the world. I'd need to be fed only if quality and quanity quotas were met.