Today, September 12th, 2020, 9 Knights of Columbus met at 1553 Windsor Dr. in Glenn Heights to help a person in need. A large (and I mean large) tree had fallen in Anita Contreras’ back yard, and she had no means of getting rid of it – not to mention the mess the fallen tree had created. Hector Rubio brought this ladies situation to the attention of Knight Hands and so today David Dybala, Mike Fitzgerald, Eric Conner, Billy Calender, Jack Ramsden, Steve Zehnder, Rod Kinard, Efrain Ochoa and myself tackled the job of cutting this large tree into short pieces to be disposed of by the City of Glenn Heights.
First thing we did (actually Mike Fitzgerald and Steve Zehnder) was mow the grass in the front and back yard to prevent us from tripping and stumbling. Soon after 8 o’clock 4 chainsaws went to work nipping away at the fallen tree. While 4 guys were cutting the rest of us were busy hauling and piling the trimming at the edge of the street.
The tree was a hackberry and it was not rotten – it was very hard to cut. Chains had to be sharpened and changed from time to time. Of course, if the job had been easy, Knight Hands would probably not have been summoned. The most important issue was safety. The tree had broken off about 5 feet above the ground and we were never absolutely sure which way the tree would fall the rest of the way to the ground once we started hacking away. These guys (David, Rod, Mike, Jack, and Efrain) knew what they were doing and eventually they had the whole thing lying on the ground with no injuries.
Eric and Steve were the main truck drivers and limb unloaders and I don’t know how many loads they hauled to the street but it was a bunch. The really great part was everybody pitched in and did what they could to get the job done – lots of sweat soaked shirt I’ll tell you. I thought I had brought way more drinks than were necessary; but when we finished around 11:45am all the drinks were gone. Sure am glad it wasn’t extremely hot. Then we cleaned up the mess the tree had made – a bunch of sticks and leaves and other rubbish and bagged it all up and took it to the street as well. While Rod and Jack and David and Efrain and Billy had really fine chainsaws, none of them had bars long enough to cut the largest sections of this tree. In the end we left the largest section on the ground and will have to come back another day with a 24” bar chainsaw and a wood splitter to finish the job. Mike and I just underestimated the size of this tree.
The best part of this whole deal was the way everybody helped as a team to get this job done. In total this job took about 36 man hours and that still gave us enough time to visit and talk and socialize as best we could while staying apart. I am proud to have served with this group of men who find it in their hearts to help those in need. Thanks guys.