Grieving the Change

The Road Behind

Some are grieving a way of life that  is disappearing.  A reader sent me this lament and, on another thread, Ernie compared the changes in the Grower’s life with that of the Logger.  I got misty eyed over both comments.


I Really do not Like the Thought of Weed Being Legal

I so much miss the old days, cause I am old school.

The excitement of hugging a tree not because I love it….but that I loved the fact that it was hiding me from the black helicopter hovering over my head….

So many small timers are going to go down hard because of legal weed.

I know that it should have been legal years ago.

[Still] Some people have no education for one reason or another, some have ADD and could not find their way in life. Some are [50 plus] years old and still cannot spell, or concentrate well enough to read a whole book.

Some people love the excitement of breaking the rules without breaking someone’s heart. If weed is legal, ..the big guys will happily walk away from their payments on their property, with a hand clutching a large suitcase full of money, saying good bye to Humboldt County [and]

Small Mom and Pops will do everything to hang on to a life style very few were privileged to have, only to realize they cannot.

Small trucks will roll down a country road with male pollen dusting the acres of Costco weed growing in the fields 200 yards away.

Stores WILL crash , families will move,  and a lifestyle will slowly fall…

I miss the old days, cause I am old school…..

I miss being 14 sitting behind a 7-11 smoking a Mexican joint cause it was fun and exciting.

I really do not like the thought of weed being legal.

I am tired of change,

I am old school,

I miss the old days.

As someone who watched logging dwindle to a ghostly occupation, the following comparison by Ernie nearly broke my heart.

My opinion is that legalization will be passed in 2010. It’s coming like a steamroller, and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. Unfortunately, because marijuana is Garberville’s main industry, that steamroller is going to run right over us. Our choice is, to take it face up, or face down. With pretty much the same results.

To take a lesson from the lumber industry as they were squeezed out. Many moved into road construction. Some went to work at McDonalds or similar jobs, but most found other work. The average lumber industry worker now works harder and longer and makes less that half what they used to make.

Some diehard lumbermen tried to stick it out, with the hopes that log prices would raise enough for them to make a little money. It was the siren that led them to the rocks. They make enough to eke out a living, but they never made enough to pay for new equipment. Most of them made it to retirement and sold the equipment to scrap iron dealers. There is little logging in Garberville now. When ever I see a logging truck go by, it yanks at my heartstrings, and I feel like saluting.

I really don’t feel that Boutique Marijuana is going to do much better that boutique logging did. Remember that this is the only place in the world that Redwoods grow, yet the price of redwood is in the basement and not very many loggers are able to sustain their industry. Marijuana can be, and it is, grown all over the world by anybody that wants to do it.

My suggestion would be to look toward something else to make a living. I know full well how the growers feel about what they do, they love growing Marijuana. They love being their own bosses. They wake in the morning and say “God, I love the smell of Marijuana in the morning”. It’s in their blood.

Not many know the sweet smell of a logging operation in the morning. Before the equipment starts and the dust kicks up, but I can tell you it is the sweetest smell that you will ever smell. I left logging to become an electronics engineer, but left that for refrigeration, two good options that would work even today. The loggers that went into construction did fairly well, because they utilized already inherent skills.

Boutique marijuana is the siren to the rocks. (just my opinion, I’m often very wrong) Finding another industry that might suit your talents would probably work better.

Sorry.

You can always buy your weed.

I buy my lumber now.

The culture is changing.  I love what we have now.  Will I love the future?  Probably, but today, in the rain, I’m mourning a way of life that will disappear forever.




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21 comments

  • Interesting topic. For one, I’m not convinced that marijuana is really, truly going to be legalized anytime soon. Maybe in another decade, but not next month, or even next year. And I don’t believe that mom and pop growing will probably EVER be legal. Even if the state passes a law like that, the feds aren’t going to go away quietly. But that’s just me; like Ernie, I’ve been known to be wrong.

    I can’t say though that I feel very sorry for the commercial grower, though. I lived down there, and saw what people did with their money. A lot of big trucks and toys, and a lot of palace building, but the people who invested wisely, took on truly interesting projects and looked to the future were few and far between. Anyone who has been cranking out 20-30 pounds a year, let alone the folks who’ve been growing 50-100 pounds a year or more, for the last decade or two sure have had the chance to look to the future and start setting themselves up for a different line of work when and if the price of pot crashed.

    Interesting comparison to the collapse of logging, too. How well I remember the environmentalists’ advice to out of work loggers: just go and retrain for another career!

    Sorry, I suppose I should be more compassionate, but commercial growers have had years and years to prepare themselves for this, either by saving some cash for hard times, or learning to do other things besides grow pot. Most have done neither, and instead, the community has chosen to put nearly all of its eggs into the marijuana basket, relying on their natural enemies, federal law enforcement, to supply the price supports. It was never very likely to last forever.

  • “Sorry, I suppose I should be more compassionate, but commercial growers have had years and years to prepare themselves for this, either by saving some cash for hard times, or learning to do other things besides grow pot. Most have done neither, and instead, the community has chosen to put nearly all of its eggs into the marijuana basket, relying on their natural enemies, federal law enforcement, to supply the price supports. It was never very likely to last forever.”

    Well put.

  • “Sorry, I suppose I should be more compassionate, but commercial growers have had years and years to prepare themselves for this, either by saving some cash for hard times, or learning to do other things besides grow pot. Most have done neither, and instead, the community has chosen to put nearly all of its eggs into the marijuana basket, relying on their natural enemies, federal law enforcement, to supply the price supports. It was never very likely to last forever.”

    Well put.

  • I am not sure that “the community has chosen to put nearly all of its eggs into the marijuana basket.” There is no other industry in this area and I cannot think of an industry that would support so many businesses and families the way “work” does. Yes commercial growers have had years to save money and learn skills to remove them from the trade–but so have mom and pop–and some are set for life, but most aren’t prepared for financially. There are also many mom and pop’s in the trade that moved away, graduated from college, got married, then moved back to where their roots reside. THese people select to continue and purposely engage in the lifestyle. This lifestyle, the trade, work what ever you call it has allowed this community to support numerous nonprofits, rebuild burnt or mudslide consumed houses for people who had no insurance, allowed businesses to expand, supported the local schools, and a host of the other things. This lifestyle has also seen the death of loved ones, the end of friendships, and a host of disrespectful punks in big jacked up rigs spending obscene amounts of money on useless shit. The whole scene is diametrically opposed. I love my life though and will hang onto this lifestyle for as long as I can.

  • I am not sure that “the community has chosen to put nearly all of its eggs into the marijuana basket.” There is no other industry in this area and I cannot think of an industry that would support so many businesses and families the way “work” does. Yes commercial growers have had years to save money and learn skills to remove them from the trade–but so have mom and pop–and some are set for life, but most aren’t prepared for financially. There are also many mom and pop’s in the trade that moved away, graduated from college, got married, then moved back to where their roots reside. THese people select to continue and purposely engage in the lifestyle. This lifestyle, the trade, work what ever you call it has allowed this community to support numerous nonprofits, rebuild burnt or mudslide consumed houses for people who had no insurance, allowed businesses to expand, supported the local schools, and a host of the other things. This lifestyle has also seen the death of loved ones, the end of friendships, and a host of disrespectful punks in big jacked up rigs spending obscene amounts of money on useless shit. The whole scene is diametrically opposed. I love my life though and will hang onto this lifestyle for as long as I can.

  • Beautiful capture, Kym. The light through the trees is really beautiful. I have no comment regarding the other stuff – it’s too foreign for me!

  • Beautiful capture, Kym. The light through the trees is really beautiful. I have no comment regarding the other stuff – it’s too foreign for me!

  • the falling of the light really gives it a painting like effect!

  • the falling of the light really gives it a painting like effect!

  • “Don’t mourn. Organize”

  • “Don’t mourn. Organize”

  • I doubt it will be legalized this year, either. However, I think it is important that everyone dependent on it in Humboldt take stock and think of what else they can do to survive. Change is certainly coming down the road, whether through legalization or some other societal shift. Whatever the change, I hope that it will be a benefit to the environment, since I am aware that the profligate use of diesel generation and other high-impact growing methods are hurting the ecosystem I know you all love, there. Of course, a big agribusiness approach to pot growing could be just as damaging, but maybe, maybe if it’s legalized, then the government can play a hand in regulating growing methods so it won’t be quite so harmful. I would also love to take a hike through your wonderful county without fear of tripwires, nervous growers with guns, and other dangers associated with the current industry. My best to you and your community as it struggles to deal with change.

  • I doubt it will be legalized this year, either. However, I think it is important that everyone dependent on it in Humboldt take stock and think of what else they can do to survive. Change is certainly coming down the road, whether through legalization or some other societal shift. Whatever the change, I hope that it will be a benefit to the environment, since I am aware that the profligate use of diesel generation and other high-impact growing methods are hurting the ecosystem I know you all love, there. Of course, a big agribusiness approach to pot growing could be just as damaging, but maybe, maybe if it’s legalized, then the government can play a hand in regulating growing methods so it won’t be quite so harmful. I would also love to take a hike through your wonderful county without fear of tripwires, nervous growers with guns, and other dangers associated with the current industry. My best to you and your community as it struggles to deal with change.

  • Crying over Ernie? You might want to read my latest on Ernie Branscombs duplicitous world view. Ernie Branscomb and Publican Justification – I included you too.

  • Crying over Ernie? You might want to read my latest on Ernie Branscombs duplicitous world view. Ernie Branscomb and Publican Justification – I included you too.

  • My intention is not to be snarky, but would you folks consider the residents like Ernie Branscomb who do not subscribe to the marijuana lifestyle to be the “counter culture”? It is an interesting turn of events. Since he’s a generational native, I’m guessing Ernie will be in Southern Humboldt until the day he dies no matter what the future holds, no matter what the economy turns to, no matter what new bunch of folks moves into the area. I don’t believe most folks will hang on and will move on to the next place of opportunity, much like the loggers and millworkers. All of the logger/millworker kids I grew up with in the Klamath-Trinity region are spread hither and yon. Who ended up replacing those families? Well-to-do retirees. Or, as Chris Crawford referred to them; Aging Rural Professionals. They made their money in the cities and have retired to the country. And, they are a combination of conservatives and liberals, all educated and don’t need to find a way to scratch out a living. The other faction of society that replaced the working families are people on government assistance programs. Out in the country, it’s a cheap place to live when there are no jobs. The county doesn’t mind sending folks to go live in the rural areas where they can lay about all day and not worry abouth earning their keep. But, hey….it’s a lifestyle. Perhaps the 60’s counter culture achieved what they wanted, an American society of dope smokers and it has led to this for Humboldt County. Everyone wants pot. The counter culture became mainstream. I’d say the establishment (your parents) is getting the last laugh.

    I’m guessing we rednecks and hippies are going to skip out of here and someone far, far different will replace us. Then, Ernie’s grandkids will fix their refrigeration units.

  • My intention is not to be snarky, but would you folks consider the residents like Ernie Branscomb who do not subscribe to the marijuana lifestyle to be the “counter culture”? It is an interesting turn of events. Since he’s a generational native, I’m guessing Ernie will be in Southern Humboldt until the day he dies no matter what the future holds, no matter what the economy turns to, no matter what new bunch of folks moves into the area. I don’t believe most folks will hang on and will move on to the next place of opportunity, much like the loggers and millworkers. All of the logger/millworker kids I grew up with in the Klamath-Trinity region are spread hither and yon. Who ended up replacing those families? Well-to-do retirees. Or, as Chris Crawford referred to them; Aging Rural Professionals. They made their money in the cities and have retired to the country. And, they are a combination of conservatives and liberals, all educated and don’t need to find a way to scratch out a living. The other faction of society that replaced the working families are people on government assistance programs. Out in the country, it’s a cheap place to live when there are no jobs. The county doesn’t mind sending folks to go live in the rural areas where they can lay about all day and not worry abouth earning their keep. But, hey….it’s a lifestyle. Perhaps the 60’s counter culture achieved what they wanted, an American society of dope smokers and it has led to this for Humboldt County. Everyone wants pot. The counter culture became mainstream. I’d say the establishment (your parents) is getting the last laugh.

    I’m guessing we rednecks and hippies are going to skip out of here and someone far, far different will replace us. Then, Ernie’s grandkids will fix their refrigeration units.

  • My intention is not to be snarky, but would you folks consider the residents like Ernie Branscomb who do not subscribe to the marijuana lifestyle to be the “counter culture”?

    I wouldn’t equate not being in a dominant industry to be counter culture. Every non-marijuana industry is niche. Ernie fits nicely into a niche. Marijuana used to be a niche, but it ain’t niche no more.

    It is an interesting turn of events. Since he’s a generational native, I’m guessing Ernie will be in Southern Humboldt until the day he dies no matter what the future holds, no matter what the economy turns to, no matter what new bunch of folks moves into the area. I don’t believe most folks will hang on and will move on to the next place of opportunity, much like the loggers and millworkers.

    Former loggers and their children largely comprise the football field patch elbow pullers of the dominant agricultural industry. The excuse used to be to feed the kids, but now the kids are pushing weight.

    All of the logger/millworker kids I grew up with in the Klamath-Trinity region are spread hither and yon.

    And the half-cut, Pot Mountain Road plots turned from forest products zone to SPI-bordering pot farms. The old logger houses made fine homes for…

    Well-to-do retirees.

    Hell yes. Aging rural professionals can be a great asset if you consider property value to be a good thing for everyone. Their resistance to pot farms just helps drive the price up for pot parcels.

    The other faction of society that replaced the working families are people on government assistance programs. Out in the country, it’s a cheap place to live when there are no jobs. The county doesn’t mind sending folks to go live in the rural areas where they can lay about all day and not worry abouth earning their keep. But, hey….it’s a lifestyle. Perhaps the 60’s counter culture achieved what they wanted, an American society of dope smokers and it has led to this for Humboldt County. Everyone wants pot. The counter culture became mainstream. I’d say the establishment (your parents) is getting the last laugh.

    Whose parents? Silent Generation folks are a dying breed while the Baby Boomers are smoking dosia like it grew on trees.

    I’m guessing we rednecks and hippies are going to skip out of here and someone far, far different will replace us. Then, Ernie’s grandkids will fix their refrigeration units.

    What people will be pushing is more of those PV powered brushless DC refrigeration units. I guess they’ll prolly need Ernie’s grandkids. I ain’t had a single glitch with mine yet tho unlike that propane sucker I had to maintain all the time.

  • My intention is not to be snarky, but would you folks consider the residents like Ernie Branscomb who do not subscribe to the marijuana lifestyle to be the “counter culture”?

    I wouldn’t equate not being in a dominant industry to be counter culture. Every non-marijuana industry is niche. Ernie fits nicely into a niche. Marijuana used to be a niche, but it ain’t niche no more.

    It is an interesting turn of events. Since he’s a generational native, I’m guessing Ernie will be in Southern Humboldt until the day he dies no matter what the future holds, no matter what the economy turns to, no matter what new bunch of folks moves into the area. I don’t believe most folks will hang on and will move on to the next place of opportunity, much like the loggers and millworkers.

    Former loggers and their children largely comprise the football field patch elbow pullers of the dominant agricultural industry. The excuse used to be to feed the kids, but now the kids are pushing weight.

    All of the logger/millworker kids I grew up with in the Klamath-Trinity region are spread hither and yon.

    And the half-cut, Pot Mountain Road plots turned from forest products zone to SPI-bordering pot farms. The old logger houses made fine homes for…

    Well-to-do retirees.

    Hell yes. Aging rural professionals can be a great asset if you consider property value to be a good thing for everyone. Their resistance to pot farms just helps drive the price up for pot parcels.

    The other faction of society that replaced the working families are people on government assistance programs. Out in the country, it’s a cheap place to live when there are no jobs. The county doesn’t mind sending folks to go live in the rural areas where they can lay about all day and not worry abouth earning their keep. But, hey….it’s a lifestyle. Perhaps the 60’s counter culture achieved what they wanted, an American society of dope smokers and it has led to this for Humboldt County. Everyone wants pot. The counter culture became mainstream. I’d say the establishment (your parents) is getting the last laugh.

    Whose parents? Silent Generation folks are a dying breed while the Baby Boomers are smoking dosia like it grew on trees.

    I’m guessing we rednecks and hippies are going to skip out of here and someone far, far different will replace us. Then, Ernie’s grandkids will fix their refrigeration units.

    What people will be pushing is more of those PV powered brushless DC refrigeration units. I guess they’ll prolly need Ernie’s grandkids. I ain’t had a single glitch with mine yet tho unlike that propane sucker I had to maintain all the time.

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