The man upstairs


In the summer of 1961 or so I wanted to go out to the woods where the log truck was parked to get some tools. My pickup needed some repairs. I asked to use my mother’s 1957 2-door hard-top Cadillac. The car was only slightly used when my dad and I got it for her, just because.

It was all white with chrome outside and in. The seats were white with black and gold sparkly threads weaved through them. There was so much chrome on the dash board that one really needed sunglasses to drive it. We always thought that it was custom ordered.

Well, I got lectured not to skid logs out of the woods with that big 4-barrel carburetor sitting on top of that big engine. I think mothers can read minds.

I was headed up the road when, out in front and to my left I saw a beautiful white bushy tailed coyote running on three legs.

The right front leg had a huge double spring trap with a 10-foot chain. When it hit the road I drove up on the chain with the front tire and shut off the engine. The coyote then crawled under the car, and so did I.

Grabbing a spring with each hand I asked the man upstairs to give me power. This was the kind of trap that a steel bar was used to open. As I squeezed until water was running from my eyes, the trap opened. I slid it off the leg and I knew where the strength had come from.

I had some nasty burns on my back from the exhaust pipe. Well the coyote was free at last and it didn’t lose its leg, so it was worth it.

William Schmitt


Retired Logger