You never know what to expect when you show up for work on Monday morning.
This week I arrived to find a simple note on my desk. It read: From Ian.
Underneath the note was a plate with a depiction of my friend and yours, Big Logger Mike.
Rather than his normal yellow self, Logger Mike is all in brown, along with the pole he perpetually climbs. It’s set against a sky blue background and the plate is trimmed in gold.
I’m not sure if its real gold, but it looks nice enough. The plate was produced by Flair Jewellers and on the back is an inscription:
“This plate reproduces Dean Lemke’s very fine wood sculpture known as ‘Big Mike’. Located at the top of a 340-year-old western red cedar, this carving is standing in Campbell River, Vancouver Island, Canada. This unique tribute honours the logging pioneers of British Columbia who were truly a breed apart.”
Well, we certainly know Big Mike is a breed apart, based on his columns in this space, known as “Conversations with Mike.”
The idea for the column came to me several years ago as I strolled downtown. There he was, smack dab in the middle of downtown, standing above all, to hear and see all that goes on in our community.
I wrote the first couple columns with trepidation. Would readers think I had finally lost it and was rambling in the middle of our busy downtown with an inanimate object? Or would they embrace the idea that Big Logger Mike actually had a voice, a loud one at that.
The resounding feedback, much to my relief, was the latter.
Big Mike not only had a voice, he had a presence.
“What’s Logger Mike going to say next?” is a question I hear often from readers.
I like that. Big Mike “sounds” real and that was my intention. The column also allows me to present two totally different points of view.
I present my opinions, but Big Logger Mike almost always gets the last word.
I think that’s important too.
To me, Big Mike represents all the old timers who helped build Campbell River. And his views are representative of all the old-timers I’ve ever interviewed here.
From experience they offer wisdom and sometimes some crazy anecdotes that will probably never be repeated because they lived in such a different age. It seems those guys and gals are passing on much too quickly these days, or perhaps that’s just me getting older.
Anyhow, I hope a little bit of them lives on in the knowledge Big Logger Mike likes to dispense every now and then.
So, this is a a thank-you to everyone who reads and enjoys Big Logger Mike’s column. And thanks to Ian, whoever you are, for the plate.