11 hours ago
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Over the whirring of a Stihl chainsaw, I gingerly approached the old man. To make the interaction more transparent, and avoid an, "Are you lost?" I held my camera in plain view. Muffled by 87 year-old ears and fixated on making precise cuts in the downed limb like an ADD thirteen year-old dissecting a video game level, Ed didn't hear me until the third time.
"I let it grow wild, like me" he said as if informing a waitress at a diner about how he likes his eggs cooked. 25 years ago, Ed stopped shaving his beard. "I was hoping by now it would be down to here," he motioned to the bottom of his sternum with a chop of his hand, "but it just stopped growing a while ago." Impressed by his commitment, I pointed out that his was far more impressive than mine.
As I walked towards the car after shaking Ed's hand one last time, he yelled, "You should move to Alaska, even though they have that woman senator that killed that moose. It sounds like a good place."
Inspired by his wild beard and commitment to the land he loves, I responded, "Maybe I will, Ed, but I don't think you can make milk there," with a smile.
Here are some more links,
"I let it grow wild, like me" (Picasa),
Side of the Road (ART).