The Woods Were Full of Men

Irma Lee Emerson, 1963, 242 pages, Memoir

Rating: 5 out of 6.

Irma Lee Emerson tended to fall flat on her face. Her four sisters had gone out into the world to make happy marriages and her three brothers to work in worthy professions. She tried and failed at various occupations. One day she escaped to the zoo for a break from her life and there heard a stranger say the words “Coos Bay”. Eavesdropping on this conversation gave her an idea. Since she knew a trick or two with hot cakes, she decided to find a job as cook at a logging camp. Will Irma work through her fears and learn to see the success she is?

This book was a delight. Through the humor and the danger, I was rooting for Irma all the way.

The dangerous aspects of the logging industry are very much included in this story. Kindness and humor play a big role too.

From the book:

Well, the boys are in for a little surprise that’s all, I told myself and avoided glancing in Wild Bill’s direction a second time. Instead I stooped over to pick up the gravy bowl and found myself looking directly into Ed’s remarkably candid blue eyes. For a moment I saw a startled recognition in them. What he saw in mine must have been apprehension because, to my relief, he glanced quickly away and down at his plate. But as I started toward the door, Wild Bill exclaimed, “Say, Ed, ain’t that the gal we saw at the zoo?”

“Shut up, you dope, she’ll hear you,” Ed said.

“It sure is,” Wild Bill went on, lowering his voice only a little. “That’s the doll was sitting on the bench in San Francisco listening at us near monkey island.”

There was a short, amazed silence at the table, and then a whoop of laughter which sounded to me like an explosion. “Vell,” I heard Hans roar out, “I ain’t seen a skirt yet as von’t folla Vild Beel furder den dat.”

And there, I realized with a shock, was the story which the whole camp was going to believe. By morning, I would be known as the girl who had followed Wild Bill all the way up from San Francisco after getting just one look at him.

I’m sure you will enjoy this true story.


2 responses to “The Woods Were Full of Men”

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