At the time of her interview Sharon was 52 years old. Her grandfather and her father both logged. Sharon remembers logging and sawmilling as a family enterprise, into which her grandfather pulled anyone in the family that he could. Though she remembered the hard times associated with an industry dependent on the weather and fluctuating markets, she considers logging the occupational tie that brought and kept her large extended family very close. She also considers logging a catalyst behind her mother's and her own independence.
Jane was 78 years old at the time of her interview. She now lives in Battleground, Washington, and is the mother of Sharon Lahti (see above) and Linda Storm (see below). Her grandfather, father, and husband all logged and sawmilled. Logging has taken her all over the west, from Montana and Wyoming to various small logging towns throughout the Columbia River Basin. She is a small woman, very independent, and very outgoing. She interviewed together with her daughters Sharon Lahti and Linda Storm. Logging was, for her, something that involved the whole family. All of her five brothers logged and sawmilled, and she and her two sisters helped fix the enormous breakfasts and mid-day suppers for the men. She remembers her grandfather and father both as "controlling" men. Logging was the focus of their lives, and they made it the focus of the lives of their families. Jane considers the woman's contribution to logging extremely important. "They were the backbones of the family. They had to keep the family going while dad was working."
Daughter of Jane Storm (see above) and younger sister to Sharon Lahti, Linda, 49 years old at the time of her interview, worked in Vancouver, Washington in an administrative position at Consolidated Freightways. She remembers very little of her father, who died (not from logging) when she was very young. But she considers the logging business and her family's deep involvement in it key to the closeness and strength of her large family. Unlike her sister, Sharon, who felt that being part of the logging industry was a special thing, Linda "had difficulty with it, because I went to the outside world and went to college and moved away from the house and moved to Seattle, and different places . . . I feel like I'm from two worlds, this outside world where everybody's from New York or New Jersey or California and they don't understand any of it. When I'd say my father was a logger they didn't have a concept of what it took to do that job and you couldn't explain it to them . . . so it was just a conversation that we couldn't have."
|Topics discussed - ASP terms:
Forests and forestry; Loggers' spouses; Loggers--Northwest, Pacific; Logging--Northwest, Pacific; Logging--Vocational guidance; Lumber camps; Lumber trade; North America; Oral history; Oregon; Pacific Northwest; United States; Women; Women employees; Women loggers--Northwest, Pacific; Work environment