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Enumclaw's Bob Britschgi named 2010 Bull of the Woods
Bob Britschgi knows he’s a lucky man.
The lifelong Plateau resident has enjoyed every job he’s had, made great friends along the way and, looking back, realizes every career move he made was the right one. That career spent in and around the timber industry has led to Britschgi being named 2010’s Bull of the Woods.
The honor is handed out each year by the Buckley Log Show committee.
“I’ve had a good life,” the 74-year-old Britschgi said, seated at the kitchen table of his comfortable home on Spiketon Road in Buckley. Looking out over fields frequented by members of the local elk herd, it’s not far from the dairy farm where he grew up.
Unlike most Bull of the Woods recipients, Britschgi wasn’t a career logger. But his work as a mechanic kept the big rigs on the road and kept loggers’ equipment in tip-top shape.
His first big break came in 1955 when Dwight Garrett hired Britschgi. For 14 years, he worked in the Enumclaw shop keeping Garrett’s innovative equipment operating smoothly. After a brief stop with a Kirkland, Wash., operation, Britschgi packed up his family and moved to Chehalis, Wash., taking a job with Cascade Loggers.
In 1977, he seized the opportunity to return to Buckley, accepting a job offer from Don Walker. A few years later, Britschgi teamed with his son Doug to form D&B Dozing. He also did some timber salvage work for the Forest Service and helped with creek restoration. By 1988 he was hauling logs for his son, a duty that ended with a shop accident that resulted in a broken hip.
He hung around the logging industry until coming down with pneumonia four years ago. “I decided that was it,” he said.
Looking back, Britschgi takes pride in the fact he was often in demand, usually the first choice of customers needing a mechanic. That skill around logging equipment, combined with a courteous approach, made him this year’s choice for Bull of the Woods.