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You’re The Top

July 2024
1min read


THAT SMALL protuberance near the top of the tree at right is a man, a claim supported by the enlargement at left. Gordon Kinney, of Seattle, Washington, who sent us the sixty-year-old hand-colored photograph, explains who the brave fellow is:

“Somewhere in the initial stages of cruising (estimating the productive potential of a stand of timber) a particular tree was selected as a spar tree to be fitted with block and tackle. To prepare the tree for this rigging, a “tree-topper” was sent aloft to clear it of all limbs and finally to “top” a portion near the summit. The tools of his trade were a wide leather belt slung around the tree, spurs, ax, and saw. No other man in the logging game—not the faller-bucker, choker-setter, or whistle punk—risked so much for so little pay. Peter P. Mackevice, shown in this photo from the early 1920s, was foreman in my father’s western Oregon operation and is still living in Boise, Idaho—still a tough, proud man. Pete, in his younger days, was considered a daredevil, and in another photo I have, he’s shown standing on top of the tree.”

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