Was This God’s Hand At Work?

About three months before Brother Dave and Mary Kathryn [Kathy] Turk got married, in October 1963, Weyerhaeuser promoted him to salesman, gave him the keys to a company car, a map of South Carolina, and told him to go sell some boxes.

He didn’t sell a single one.

When Weyerhaeuser transferred Dave to Lynchburg, Virginia, after he got married, there was no assignment waiting for him when he got there — the plant manager didn’t even know he was coming.

Dave Stith: He returned to Charlotte and started his own sheet plant.
Dave Stith: He returned to Charlotte and started his own sheet plant.

Dave was so bad at selling boxes Weyerhaeuser didn’t want him doing that any more but he had been so good at designing them and such a promising employee the company didn’t want to fire him.

So, Mr. Plant Manager, find something for Mr. Stith to do.

Over the next six months my brother was asked to do a little bit of everything, run equipment in the plant, drive a truck, handle paperwork in the office, this, that, and the other.

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Dave, who had failed at selling boxes, learned how to make them. And then he resigned and started his own box company, Queen City Container Inc., a sheet plant he operated successfully in Charlotte for 38 years.

Coming Friday: Covered With Slop And Blood

The Scar

Pop, Dave, and I were standing on the porch of the cabin at Snowbird, in the mountains of North Carolina close to the Tennessee border, when two fellows in their early 20’s came out of the woods into a clearing below the cabin. They were carrying rifles, they had pistols and knives strapped to their belts, and they had dogs. They were hunting.

Pop, L, Pat and Dave Stith, at Snowbird.
Pop, L, Pat and Dave Stith, at Snowbird.

They stopped, we greeted each other, and then my brothers and I walk down there to talk. Or rather, Pop talked. Dave and I mostly kept our mouths shut and listened.  Pop had a way about him that mountain men liked. I think they knew he was one of them, just from a different neck of the woods.

“How often do you boys hunt?” Pop asked.
And one of them said, “Every day during boar and bear season,” which runs about three months.

Pop was surprised because he could see one of them was wearing a wedding band and he said, “You’re married.”

“Not but nine months a year,” the man replied.

Black bear
Black bear

They got to talking about bears that get tired of running and turn on dogs tracking them, killing one sometimes.   That’s when one of the hunters pulled his shirt half way up so we could see his side and said, “That’s what a bear done to me.”

The scar across the side of his belly was awful, a terrible, jagged looking thing.

And then the other hunter spoke up.

“He’s lying to you,” the other man said.  “That won’t no bear, that was a chain saw.”

Coming Monday: Hiding In A Privy