Chapter 4 - Bigfoot
And also from the pages of Lumberjack News, located at that time in Eureka, California.
There is a hell of an uproar in the nations press about the giant roaming the hills of Humboldt and Del Norte County. He makes footprints 16 inches long and seven inches wide! They all try and make out that it's a big mystery but it's no mystery at all to us old time lumberjacks, especially to those among us who were logging in the vicinity years ago. We knowed him as Bigfoot Wallace, and I got to know the gent quite well back in 1919.
One of our periodic depressions were on in that year and most camps and sawmills were shut down around Seattle so I took a wild lonesome down California way and wound up setting chokers in a new logging camp near Blue Lake in Humboldt County.
This Bigfoot was also a big Hoosier and he had no time for us Wobblies as he had tendencies towards becoming stump rancher. He finally got hold of 160 acres of logged off land and hit upon the idea of buying up bull calves and raising them on this land. He done all right for a while as he would use these half grown bulls to pull a stump puller arrangement in order to clear hay land. Then he would ship these bulls to market. He kept buying up bulls and shipping them until we got to calling him the "Big Bull Shipper"
Finally, as the depression deepened it seemed that the more bulls he shipped, the less money he made although at that time he was the biggest bullshipper in Humboldt County! And then hard times caught up with the logging camp and they shut down. The Big bull shipper kept right on shipping bulls until he was plump brokeand mad clear thru. He finally got made enough that we could sign him up in the IWW and then when he found out what was going on in the world he was a new man entirely!
After the outfit shut down I got a job of pearl diving in a restaurant. Some of the other loggers were cutting wood and doing other odd jobs. We had a little poker game going on there in town and we got the bullshipper in it. He had lost his place by then and had finished up with the bullshipping, and he was a red hot wobbly by then.
One night in the poker game the boys had cleaned him complete and entire, so one of the guys said, "Hell, Bigfoot, put in your cork shoes, as they will make a good conversation piece anyway."
Another says, "put in your rain suit, as they will make a good tarp."
Well, we literally stripped the bullshipper that night so when the game was over he stood up and announced: "Boys, I'm a gonna go into the woods, live on fruit, nuts, roots, and berries, and I ain't coming back until the Wobblies has taken over!"
Thats the last any of us ever seen of him. Now here it is away up in 1960, and people traveling the roads up in Humboldt and Del Norte are seeing a big hairy monster in their headlights and wondering what it is. I can tell them. Its just the big bullshipper came back to see if the Wobblies have taken over! (Chambers of Commerce please note.)