The thing that attracted me to Don when I first met him was the fact that he could "do things". He wasn't afraid to work on his own car or get dirty and work hard. He was a man's man. He wasn't big and flashy but he was focused and determined. No matter what the job, Don proved himself more than capable of the challenge.
He built a small shelf out of old oak boards from a pallet and produced an attractive place to display his stuffed raccoons. He had two young raccoons mounted on a tree limb. He also displayed a huge mule deer he had shot in Colorado hanging on the living room wall. He even built a seven by ten foot shelf for our books and TV. He never ceased to amaze me at what he was able to accomplish.
We bought a home in Gordon County and Don has done everything around here that has improved the place. He landscaped the yard so that it doesn't flood under the house when it rains. He put all the gutters on the house without any help. He even put a six foot high fence around the yard for the kids when they were little. Our whole backyard is enclosed.
We had an old dilapidated building that we use for storage. There is a huge old pine tree that grows beside the old barn. Don worried that the limbs would fall off the tree and crash through the barn. This began to really worry him over a long period of time until he finally decided to climb up the tree and cut some precariously loose limbs.
Don had a good chain saw and an extension ladder. He got an early start and climbed up the tree to begin to discard weak branches. The boys and I went somewhere and were gone for a long time. After we came back home we found out that Don had been cutting tree limbs when a big pine limb hit the ladder and knocked it down. He had been standing on another big limb way up high and he couldn't figure any way to get out of the tree or how to retrieve the ladder. He was stuck up a tree!
Don said he sat on the tree limb for a long time yelling for anybody to come and help him down. Our neighbor, Jay, finally heard him calling and came down to see what was wrong. She had a good laugh when she got here and saw him sitting on a tree limb. It was a good thing he had left the fence open or she wouldn't have been able to get in the backyard to help him. She came over and put the extension ladder back up for him so that he could finally come down. He decided to tie a rope to the ladder so that he could pull the ladder back up if he knocked the ladder down again. He didn't want to be stuck again.
That's my Paul Bunyon story about Don.