TRAIL TALES: The poems of Roger Bell
The misadventures of a rookie trail builder.
BEST FOOT FORWARD
I remember my very first job
Fish Canyon with Harvey and Bruce
On sabbatical to write my thesis
My schedule was fairly loose
Besides they were in the Angeles
Not very far from my home
I could go check out trailbuilding
And return to writing my tome
I got up before five each morning
I was barely conscious then
Half asleep, I drove to Duarte
Where my new life was about to begin
What blew my mind was Harvey
With a pry bar in a pile of rock
He did miracles with that tool
An artist without a block
Here I was, just a novice
A beginner without a clue
And my blue-collar brother a genius
There was more to this work than I knew
An excuse to sleep in later
Was the bad poison oak that I got
I tried to stay home and write
But my focus was totally shot
So back to the trail work I went
Itchy arms and wounds to lick
I wasn't skilled, but determined
To find meaning in swinging a pick
'Course Harvey had great fun teasing
(The out-of-shape rookie's fate)
Over and over he told of
One morning when I arrived late
I dragged out my old Army boots
Way too large and boy were they beat
As I hurriedly laced them that day
Turns out they were on the wrong feet!
I was so tired that I didn't notice
Till I started out on my trek
When I looked down I nearly collapsed
I was duck-walking… what the heck?
Well, that story had a way of sticking
Harvey's guffaw could be heard for a mile
Rookies provide entertainment
And sometimes we do it with style.
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Updated December 14, 2007