This is the final chapter in the Pipe Crew series.
We started working an hour earlier each day, getting the first set of water on leaving us an extra hour to help down at Schultz’s. Senior Hoak the octogenarian master barn builder and his only son Junior did all of the thinking. Mr. Schultz and our boss Mister Loeschen drove the big equipment. The pipe crew did all of the work that was left. The footings were scheduled to be poured in two days and that meant a lot of work clearing the holes, making the pier forms and digging the foundation trenches. This barn would rest primarily on twelve massive piers, each seven feet deep and reinforced with a rebar lattice. This would put the real base of the barn four feet below the local frost line, immune to cold weather shifting. The tops of the piers were raised to a broad pyramid with a mortise wedge forced down into the wet concrete to create a hole to receive the end of the huge barn rib that would be raised to fill it. The placement of those mortise wedges was carefully calculated and Senior Hoak made certain they were precisely where they belonged. The barn would rest on these piers for hundreds of years; no shortcuts were allowed. The foundation trenches were dug to five feet, two feet below the frost line but they wouldn’t bear much more weight than the minor ribs and sidewalls above them. The entire barn was made of massive timbers taken from trees so large they could have been old growth but in reality were no more than a hundred years old. The Hoaks had all the pieces ready to assemble for the main structure and all of the beams and boards that would form the floors, stalls and lofts. All the cedar shakes for the roof were in our sheds. Over 22,000 of them. I had split nearly all of those myself, developing strong forearms in the process and a nasty fastball and cut fastball as a result. The Baldwins were down in the trenches while Rusty, Kesey and I pushed wheelbarrows of dirt into piles for the back fill that would come after the forms were removed.
The cement trucks arrived two days later, just as promised. Each of the piers would take half of the nine full yards, so it took six truckloads to pour the twelve piers. As the cement was cascading in, we pipe crew boys were given shaker rods to run up and down in the wet cement to get the load to settle into the cracks and around the rebar reinforcements. Mr. Schultz put the finish edges on the top himself. The foundation forms took another four truckloads. Witham Hill Aggregate delivered the concrete with half of their road fleet. It took less time than I thought to pour so much mud, but we split into four crews and it went pretty quick. After three hours of hustling and sweating, we were sitting under the shade tree listening to the end of the Paul Harvey news broadcast on the radio and finishing our lunches. For the next week, we’d be moving the timber from the various storage places around the county and onto the barn raising site. Whenever we’d pick up a load, Junior Hoak would be there to tell us which pieces. Whenever we unloaded a load, Senior Hoak would be there to tell us where to put each piece and which way to turn it and even which side went up. Each of those old men knew exactly which stick went in which other stick and how they differed from one place to another. They were craftsman in the original, most authentic way. The week went by quickly and on July 1st, two days before the raising, we had all of the wood on site and were removing the forms from the hardened sills and piers. We back filled the gaps and hammered the dirt back into place with large stampers made from post hole digger handles stuck in coffee cans filled with cement. These fifteen pound tampers packed the earth back into place, ensuring a seamless strength from piers to ground. The backfilling was the hardest part of the process.
I’d get home at night just spent. Moving pipe was hard enough, but we were rushing through a second full time job each day at the barn site. Even though they were banned from the actual work site, my girlfriend Katie and her sister Kim made their presence known around the farmyard. It was inspiring for all of us to have these girls to impress. My little sister Becka was also around almost constantly. Sometimes I would have to turn my back on the house to keep from getting distracted so that my raging boner would stay bedded down.
At night when I got home to clean up, Becka would sit on the bathroom counter while I soaked in the tub. I was a mess of hormones and horniness and I never considered that Becka as the same, just in female form. When it looked to her like I had soaked enough, she would slip here shorts and panties off and sit with her knees up high, her heels next to her tiny little ass, spreading her teen cunt at me in a ‘come fuck me’ way. I would step out of the tub, hard as a rod of rebar, and we would fuck and kiss, until I dried and came. Sometimes she wanted me to fuck her from behind and would wiggle down off the counter and thrust her ass out toward me, spreading her feet apart in an obscene upside down V. She loved to look in the mirror at the faces I made when I was thrusting into her. I’d reach around and fill my hands with her firm young breasts and squeeze them until her hard nipples poked out between my stretched fingers. Becka liked it a little rough sometimes, eager to feel the strength of my hands and my legs as I mauled her. It didn’t increase my pleasure, except to enjoy the rise in hers. I wanted her to be pleased and she wanted me to please her, so it worked out for the both of us. If she came before I did, which happened frequently, she’d sometimes make me stop. She’d turn around and drop to her knees and suck her cum off of my cock in long sloppy gulps. If I didn’t cum this way, she’d put her chest on the vanity and reach back with both hands and spread the cheeks of her tiny bum, inviting me to fuck her nether hole. I would look down and see it stretched and twitching and always give her what she wanted. Fucking Becka always increased my already prodigious appetite. We’d get dressed and head downstairs where a large farm supper would be waiting. We always ate dinner as a family and shortly after my father would grab his lunch pail and thermos and head for the saw mill where he was the overnight foreman. I usually wouldn’t stay up much past twilight before heading to bed. Morning came early on the farm and we didn’t waste much time with TV or conversation at night.
Each night Katie would trek the half mile to our barn where she and I meet after midnight to work out the kinks in the muscles I had remaining from my long days moving pipe and preparing for the barn raising. Like Becka, Katie was a sack of feminine hormones, filled with wants, needs and desires. I gladly exchanged a couple hours of sleep to bury my face in her sweet cunt or breasts and share my youthful never ending hard cock with her. There was no doubt in my mind that Katie was the woman I was meant to marry. She knew about Becka and she knew I had fucked her younger sister as well. It went without saying that I only had sex with those other women because she understood the needs of a young man. It also went without saying that if she ever put her foot down; I’d give up all my other lust partners. All except Becka. Even if I had to lie to Katie, I would only give up my sister when my sister wanted me to.
The Fourth of July was the big day. Folks from all over the county came for the barn raising. There were engineering students from OSU and even some from as far away as Iowa and Pennsylvania who had trekked across the country just to watch this barn raising and lend a hand if permitted. I arrived before nearly everyone, but I wasn’t that surprised to see Junior and Senior Hoak conferring in the dim pre-dawn light over a set of old plans. Mr. Schultz was with them as was Mister Loeschen. The two farmers let the craftsman do all the talking and nodded. Each man would be responsible for a separate crew. The Hoaks would assemble the massive internal skeleton first, starting with the inner most pair of main supports. By first light, the barnyard was filled with volunteers and engineers. Senior assigned the men to each crew and there were roughly thirty men per lifting crew, and fifty men per side crew. Outside the working area, there was a ring of onlookers, wives and small children. They busied themselves setting up plank tables, a first aid station, water station and kitchen to feed the hungry hordes. There were also news cameras and crews from all the major Oregon television station and the local AM country station was doing a live update from the farm. I heard a rumor that even Paul Harvey himself had taken an interest in the biggest barn raising of the last century. It was part picnic, part circus, part county fair all rolled into one. On the side of the barn that faced the hay field, trucks pulling horse trailers were lined up. Teams of Belgian, Breton and Clydesdale draft horses were being unloaded and harnessed. This was going to be an old-fashioned barn raising.
“Paul David!” growled the old barn maker. “You and your boys are to listen to me, got that? You stick close to me, I can’t see as well as I used to and I need your eyes and feet.”
“Yes sir.” I was a little disappointed I was relegated to gopher after putting so many hours getting things ready.
While the horse teams got their marching orders from Junior Hoak, senior had the other teams of men assemble the first pair of great bents that would be the backbone of the barn spanning the middle two pair of piers. The feet of the each main post of the great bents had been shaped to a broad wedge with a shoulder. The posts were connected with a main beam and the over the top the rafter trusses were also assembled. All of the right angles were also supported by corner trusses that would reinforce the mechanical connections when load was placed on the floor and roof of the completed structure. The terminal junction of the opposing trusses was notched to receive the crown purlin. The four main posts were placed over the piers and forced into place by temporary guides that would be removed after those main posts dropped into the mortises we had molded into the top of the piers. The sun was barely over the horizon when the draft horses started raising the first two ribs using a-frames and blocks. Once raised a few feet, men would slide crib posts under them to keep them elevated. After they were raised about ten feet, the two opposing great ribs were connected using pulleys and blocks. Two teams of horses were linked to each great bent to provide the lift; another team was hitched in opposition to each frame structure to provide the belay. This would allow both sides to be raised in a controlled manner without being pulled too far.
“Now you earn you dinner, Paul David. You stand back there and watch those bents come up. Don’t let them get out of sync. They have to go up together. You are my eyes. You tell me which side needs to ease and let me do the rest.”
Suddenly I felt like the whole operation was on my shoulders and I felt a fear and trepidation that I would screw something up. With a wave of his hand and a shout to “Take up the slack!” the four teams stepped forward, crackling their traces with tension. The belay teams stood stock still, their belay ropes being paid out through a guide block behind them. Each main post had a manual pole also pinned temporarily to them so that groups of men could guide the posts up, locking them in place while they rose by shoving the pole into the ground if needed. When the east side rose faster than the west, I cried out, “Ease up on the right.”
“Aye,” replied Senior. “Darby, Wilt, HOLD!” Those team teams held their place while the west team continued until they were the same height.
“That’s better,” I said.
“Take up!” shouted Senior and all four teams continued. The tenon ends slipped into their mortises and before they were completely settled, Senior called a halt. The four great posts of the main bents were locked into place with the push poles and then tension supplied by the draft animals. Two long main beams with preloaded with braces were hoisted into place between the two bents lining them up with the mortises already cut there. When the two beams were in place, the ribs were raised a bit more until the tenons were just seated. The upper two beams were then raised and the entire set up was pulled into place by the draft animals. Men scrambled up hastily erected ladders and drove home twenty inch oak pins, locking the first two great bents together on the lower beam and then again on the upper beam then again at the top of the roof on the crown purlin. Those first men up the ladders were almost all students, eager to participate. They wouldn’t come down until lunch time, waiting on the skeleton until they were needed to hammer home pins to lock mortise to tenon. They laughed and joked and had the time of their lives, exhilarated by the pure adventure.
“Ain’t that a sight?” said Senior Hoak. “Did you see how that worked?” I nodded. “Good. You take the east side with Junior and I’ll take the west side with Schultz and let’s see who gets to lunch first.” He had handed over the raising of the other two great ribs on the east side of the barn to me. Junior had been working non-stop assembling the next great bent with his crew and it was ready to elevate by the time we had completed pinning the first two sections. At the apex of the barn a crown purlin would be the top beam, carrying the ridge of the gambrel roof and at the ends of the barn, extending out unsupported to carry the overhang that would protect the hay loft doors from rain when left open for light and air. Using the completed structure as the lifting point, the other bents went up much easier. While the raising crews kept moving out, the side crews started swarming on the center bay, pinning the side wall beams and the floor beams into place. Even more men carried flooring up ladders to be nailed into place. The sound of hammering and sawing increased to a dull cacophony. The secondary trusses were lifted into place by more draft teams and then men clambered all over them, getting them perfectly straight and even before hammering them home with pins.
With the center of the barn in place, the rest seemed simple by comparison. The lifting and belay draft horse moved around, lifting this and toting that. The crown purlin cantilevered ten feet out past the end of the barn on each end. The gambrel purlins extended seven feet beyond the end of the barn. When the roof line was a floating head rafter attached the terminal ends of the purlins creating an angled roof extension. The variance in the angle would give the barn a unique look. By the time we were finished raising the last great bent, which was the heaviest due to the extra posts used to support the main door and the hay loft opening, scaffolding was being erected along both sides of the barn. Workers scrambled up the scaffolding to attach the standing cedar wall boards to the horizontal girts. Each ten inch butt was covered with a three inch cedar strip. The barn would shed water and wind throughout the wet Oregon weather.
We appeared to be moving a little faster than Senior, but his crew pinned his crown purlin down and shouted in victory about ten minutes before our last pin was driven home. The sun wasn’t halfway up in the sky yet and already we had all the bents and beams in place. Most of the common purlins were hammered in and nearly all the side girts that the stiffened the outer walls. A bell rang. Every man left his tools where they were and gratefully climbed down the nearest ladder. It was time for lunch.
While we were at lunch the radio and television people moved about, talking to everyone who didn’t have their mouth full. Neither Hoak would give the television reporters as much as a word, but one of the radio men was interviewing them to be used on the Paul Harvey noon news the following week. Paul Harvey was still a big deal in these parts.
Lunch was a sumptuous affair. Thick sandwiches, cold fried chicken, meat loaf, beans with bacon, biscuits with honey and butter, corn bread, apple muffins, blueberry and strawberry cobblers, iced tea and lemonade so sour it could make your ears pop. It took less than thirty minutes to feed all 150 workers and then a bell rang and the workers scrambled back up into the barn and the hammering and sawing. When the men left, the tables were taken over by the women and children and they enjoyed their lunch to the music of a barn being hammered together. There were more than 100 men on the roof, hammering shakes into straight rows. The rest finished laying the interior floors and hanging the door hardware for the great wooden doors that slid across the two main openings and the four smaller side doors. Grain bins filled four of the ten bays. Each was lined with walnut tongue and groove boards. Walnut is natural resistant to insects and would provide a passive barrier for any grain stored inside. The tack room was lined with tongue and groove cedar to keep moths out of the horse blankets. The remaining bays were lined in straight pine boards at full dimensions. They would last a long time.
After setting the posts and beams for the two wings, the work had left me behind. The heavy lifting was over and all that was left was pounding nails and sawing boards. I wandered around and lent a hand wherever I could, mostly lifting this and moving that. I steadied ladders and handed out paint brushes.
The draft teams were pulled off the job site and the young children pampered them like old friends, bringing them handfuls of sweet grass pulled from the edges of the fields. Those horses were massive and strong but gentle and calm. Even the smallest children were perfectly safe around them. The teams were hitched to hay wagons so that the youngsters could be drawn around the pasture and kept out of trouble.
Once the roof was complete, then all the able bodied youth that wanted were rousted to begin the huge undertaking of whitewashing the entire structure. Instead of the traditional barn red so common to farm barns, the all of the walls were washed white and the cedar roof was stained with red. The trim was also done in cedar red. Katie, Kim, Becka and Summer had a special project on the end of the barn that faced the county road. They spent the entire afternoon painting a huge sign with the word SCHULTZ over smaller words FAMILY FARM. It was eight feet tall and sixteen feet wide and when they were finished, the sign was raised using the loft pulley suspended from the crown purlin over the hay loft door. As evening approached, the barn was nearly complete. The walls and floors were in place and I didn’t notice the arrival of any electricians, but the barn was wired with the new type of breaker panel and electrical lights. The mothers moved in and swept the barn from one end to the other and then organized the teens to move tables and benches in door.
To cap off the evening, several sheep and a beef cow were barbecued over long steel barrel cookers. Several kegs of beer appeared and before long I heard the sounds of fiddles and standing basses tuning up. After the barbecue, there was going to be a barn dance to christen the barn properly. I climbed up one of the four loft ladders and found a perch on the upper hay floor to watch the people down below. It amazed me that less than 24 hours before, where I was sitting was 24 feet up in thin air. And now it would be occupied by this barn for two hundred years and it had only taken a day to put it all together. I was tired and exhilarated all at once. The pipe crew found their way up there in ones and twos. Then the girls made the climb and along came Rusty, climbing one handed. In his other hand his had a new milk pail that sloshed when he wasn’t careful. Rusty had talked the men at the kegs into one beer. Then had them fill his newly commandeered pail for his one beer. We took turns passing the bucket, sipping from the rim. When the music started so did the dancing. I could see Mr. and Mrs. Schultz, arm in arm, resting on a bench with their backs against their new barn. Mister Loeschen was up on the makeshift stage, sawing on a fiddle. I nearly fell out of the barn, having never thought Mister Loeschen was a musical man.
At full dark we all climbed down and slipped out into the sweet summer night to watch the fireflies and the fireworks show. After the show the families with young children started loading up to get their kids home and in bed. The older folks stayed around to enjoy the music and extend the day that they did something they would likely never do again. The barn was a beautiful sight. Senior Hoak sat on a hard chair with a back, sucking on a pipe with his arms crossed in front, giving himself a hug. He looked as pleased as I had ever seen him, a hint of a smile crossing his face from time to time. Junior Hoak was busy dancing with the widows and spinsters. My own folks were slow dancing and gazing into each other’s eyes. I pulled Katie up against me, knowing that one day it would be us down there with that longing look of love shared between us.
“Time for bed,” I announced to the pipe crew.
“Not yet,” said Katie with a sly look. “We haven’t finished the barn yet.”
“Sure we have. Look at it!” I argued. “Even the doors and pen gates are hung.”
“I think there’s something over here that needs to be finished,” she stated, pulling me to my feet. I followed her to the far end of the barn where the light couldn’t reach. There in the darkness was a pile of horse blankets that Katie had carried up with the help of Kim and Becka.
“We need to christen the barn right,” whispered Katie in her sultry come-fuck-me-now voice. “God Paul, you were so sexy today, raising the barn, telling those grown men what to do. They even listened to you. It made me so proud!” She dropped to her knees, unbuckling my belt and unfastening the metal button. She tugged the zipper down and then gripped the waistband and pulled my blue jeans and underwear down to my knees, taking my cock into her mouth at the same time. Even in the darkness, I could see the glint of lust reflected in her eyes. I thrust into her throat, feeling it opening to allow my deeper penetration. She took me deep, pressing her nose into my stomach and resting my balls on her chin. I could feel her swallowing, milking my glans with her throat muscles. She moaned and that was all it took. I pumped a full load of cum down her gullet into her stomach while she eagerly swallowed.
Now hypersensitive to touch, I pulled my glistening cock from her mouth and pulled Katie upright. I dropped on my knees before her, lifting each leg in turn and tugging off her boots. Then I unbuttoned her tight jeans and guided them down past her curvy hips to her knees. I took her in my arms and gently laid her back against the horse blankets, removing her jeans entirely. I began on the inside of her right leg and licked and kissed her from her ankle to the junction of her sex and then started over with the inside of her left leg. As I got closer to her sex, I spread her legs wider, forcing them up toward her chest, her pantie covered cunt displayed for my personal amusement. I rubbed her clit with my nose through her panties and licked the skin on the edge of her panties nearest her sex. I could smell the seeping juices of her arousal. I placed my mouth on her cunt, licking her through her satin garment. She was hot and steamy and swollen; I could tell. I hooked her waistband and slid those wonderful panties around her hips, over her knees and then off her entirely. She returned her legs to their previous position, hugging her knees while spreading her cunt as much as possible. I drove my face into her damp, engorged depths. I licked her from asshole to clit and back again, driving my tongue into her ass then her cunt and then swirling it around her clitoris before reversing the course and process. When she started to writhe, I sucked her clit into my lips and teased it with the tip of my tongue, slipping a finger into her cunt and then another against her ass. She was pouring a river of moisture from her cunt as well as my mouth. Her anal ring was soaking wet and my middle finger slid in to the second knuckle easily. Her sphincter twitched and milked my finger in response to the intrusion. Now I had a finger fully imbedded in her cunt and another half embedded in her ass. My tongue lavished her clit and she was biting her fist to keep from crying out. Her body shook and bucked as waves of orgasmic pleasure washed over her. Each buck allowed my finger to go deeper into her ass until my first two fingers were entirely embedded inside her, separated only by the membranes of her body. I slowly started thrusting those fingers in and out, picking up speed as her body made adjustments for the intrusions. Her back stiffened and arched, she forced her feet down to the floor and raised her ass off the woolen blankets until she was in a perfect arc. Still I sawed away with my fingers and her orgasm owned her consciousness. She had to put one hand on my forehead and another on my wrist to get me to stop. She could take no more pleasure.
Exhausted and breathless, she giggled. “Oh my God Pauly! Oh my God! I just can’t take any more of that. Give me a second to catch my breath. Oh my God! Ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod!” When she could finally breathe normally, she looked up to me, now kneeling beside her prone form. “Fuck me now, Pauly. Fuck me fuck me fuck me! Fuck me! Damn you! FUCK ME NOW!” She was giggling with her desperation. I moved over to cover her body with mine and my steel rod found its way home with little coaxing. She was so hot and wet and tight, throbbing with the aftermath of her huge orgasms.
I thrust in and out of her, vaguely aware that more than a hundred people were down on the new barn floor still. Our closest friends were just fifty feet away and if they wanted they could come over and see us, fucking in the deep shadows. I turned my head to look and could see that no one was paying us any mind; the noise of the music was masking the sounds of our teen lust. I kissed Katie and she kissed me back. I stopped thrusting in and out and started grinding in deep circles, eager to find a way to drive Katie as crazy with desire as she was doing to me. She pushed on my shoulders until took more weight on my hands, pressing away from her.
“Let me on top,” she commanded. We stayed joined as we rolled over she rose to the cowgirl position. I slipped my hands up under her shirt, pushing her bra up past her ample breasts. I cupped their softness, feeling her erect nipples pressing into my palms. She rode me, grinding her hips from side to side at my deepest penetration. She reached behind and gripped my ball sack, using them as leverage to pull herself down, gently squeezing them to coax another load of cum from within. She was successful. Katie collapsed onto my chest.
“I love you Paul David.”
“I love you Katie Schultz.”
After a time we extricated ourselves and dressed. The crowd below was thinning out. It was past midnight and tomorrow was a normal workday. Normal for the pipe crew meant returning to our old routine. The routine from before the barn burned to the ground. Long hot days of sweaty work and short cool nights of deep sleep.
We had our fun of course. We even took the liberty of joking with Mister Loeschen about his fiddle playing ability. Rusty even went so far as to joke that Mister was probably a good seamstress as well while in the presence of Mrs. Loeschen. When Mister wasn’t looking, she nodded behind his back and we all got a good laugh. Mister wasn’t nearly as formidable as before. He didn’t need to be stern to get the work done; the pipe crew was more than capable.
Summer ended of course and with it came the new school year. It wasn’t the same without Jack Baldwin of course. But we managed to win another state championship in football under our new coach Steve Lenning. Our basketball team was mediocre again, but our baseball team did pretty well. All through the school year Katie and I were inseparable as a couple. At night, Becka shared my bed as much as she liked. I even managed a couple of satisfying fucks with Doc Trelease and Rusty of course. Kesey and Summer Curry returned the following summer from California but the Baldwins were finished. Both were drafted into the Marines and were sent to Viet Nam. Only James came back, his brother was buried in a steamy jungle half a world away. James would spend the rest of his short life drinking and chasing the drug habit he started while scared out of his mind in southeast Asia.
Rusty was the pipe boss and we had a couple of new boys to replace the Baldwins. The pipe crew continued on, even after I graduated and started playing football and baseball at OSU. After graduating with a degree in education and PE, I had a choice between professional football, playing for the Green Bay Packers or baseball for the San Francisco Giants. I chose baseball and pitched in the minors and big leagues for fourteen years. The money was pretty good and when I retired I returned with my wife Katie to her family farm. My family never moved from the Baldwin place. Becka ended up married to Kesey Curry for a time. The stress of living in California and wanting to be in Oregon was too much and she returned home without him. They divorced but stayed friends. Right before I retired Becka married my best friend Rusty. They have two precious young girls. For their wedding gift, I bought them eight hundred acres of prime river bottom land adjacent to the Schultz farm. Kim married a good young man from a farm north of Corvallis and started popping out children every year for the next eight years.
Katie and I got married 29 years ago, come June. We’ve got five grown children and one we lost in infancy. Her folks passed and she and her sister inherited the farm. I bought out Kim’s share so she and her husband could have a good start. We live in the house her parents lived in and she was raised. We farm, growing row crops, hogs and beef cows. We grow our own hay and put it up in the barn I helped raise. Every so often we get a request from the students at OSU to come examine the barn and the construction techniques used. The Hoaks have long passed, their legacy stands in our yard. With them passed a fountain of knowledge that won’t ever be refilled. The art may have died with them.
Mister Loeschen died last January. More than two thousand people attended his funeral and the remembrance celebration afterword. Over a hundred of the attendees were former members of the pipe crew, spanning generations. People took turns telling stories of Mister Loeschen and the secret acts of generosity he had performed for the benefit of nearly everyone there. I even took a turn at the microphone. Because of my notoriety as a professional athlete, people may have given me more attention when I spoke, but really all I could contribute were a few stories of how generous Mister had been and how much he had affected my life and maturation. When it was all over we all went our own ways.
Becka and I still love each other, more than a brother and sister should. We don’t sneak around for sex any longer, but we do enjoy a little secret grab-assing. Katie and I still have a good sex life, though once every couple of days is the best my aging body can accomplish now. We even have grandkids that spend their summers with us. The boys work on the pipe crews and the girls work on our farm. I know they find their way up into the hay lofts for the same reasons that Katie and I did. But that’s just life on the farm.
And the end of the Pipe Crew Stories.
Author’s note: I know some of you were eager for me to continue the Pipe Crew stories and if wrapping it up like this disappointed you, I apologize. The man that Mister Loeschen was based on really did pass away and I couldn’t bring myself to write any more until I had worked through that let down. Mister was a good man and was generous and stern. All of the things that happened in the last bit was true, except the professional baseball career. I was an average college athlete, not at OSU but another smaller school. I did take over my wife’s family farm after graduating and I still do teach and farm. Our kids are all grown with lives of their own. My sister and I are still close and she did end up married to my best friend. The rest of the story was just that, a story. It all has a grain of truth, but it’s really just stories. I appreciate you reading my story and while it wasn’t a great spankbank story, I enjoyed telling it just the same. Thank you all!