|JAY AT WORK|
|A DANGEROUS CALLING|
Wednesday, 8:00 AM. 30 degrees F at the ferry dock, 28 on the back porch. Wind NW, with moderate to strong gusts. The sky has a low overcast, the humidity is 89%. The barometer is at 29.81" and falling gently. We got a light dusting of snow last night and the forecast is for somewhat cooler temperatures and continuing overcast skies, with occasional snow flurries.
The phone was beeping to let us know that it had a message when we returned from Duluth yesterday. I had a hard time processing what I heard.
Jay Cablck, owner of Jay's Tree Care and a good friend and close associate for going on two decades, was killed on the job Monday afternoon. A large cottonwood tree was being felled by his crew, the chain saw became pinched and stuck, and when Jay attempted to retrieve it the partly cut tree trunk spun, fell and crushed him to death.
Jay was very safety conscious, but arborist work is extremely dangerous. I was not there, and probably wouldn't have been able to stop the accident if I had been. Monday morning quarterbacking is not appropriate at this time or perhaps at any time. If I had been there it might have been my time to go as well.
Jay was a true environmentalist, concerned about many issues, but particularly about caring for individual trees. He did most of Bayfield's tree planting and care work. We worked together on many private jobs as well and I don't know if I can do any more work without him. He was a man of action, not words. He leaves a wife and seven year old son. At present a memorial service is scheduled to be held this Saturday at the Bayfield pavilion.
As is true of so many in the profession, Jay could not buy life insurance because of the dangerous nature of the work. Almanac readers wishing to assist Jay's family may do so by sending a check or money order to Jay's wife Carrie:
Jay's Tree Care
63700 Vranes Rd.
Ashland, Wisconsin 54806
I am having a difficult time processing the tragedy, and in fact feel more numb than anything else. I makes me wonder why I am still around at 80 and my good friend and associate is gone at half my age.
I suspect I will have more sleepless nights.