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  • Writer's pictureTodd Stevens

The Accident

In July of 1996 I was sitting on a stump during a break from cutting timber, and chatting with another logger. Across the draw from where we sat was a clearing in the thick trees. We watched as a massive and shiny black bear slowly jogged across that clearing and then disappeared into the timber on the other side. We sat for a while and talked about different bears we'd seen over the years , and after a few minutes the guy got up and went back to where he was sawing. I started my saw and went back to work. The first tree that had to go was a medium sized lodge pole. I put the face cut in, and then started the back cut. I looked up several times during the back cut, until the tree started to go. I looked up one last time, and the second I looked up, the top came down and crushed the left side of my face and smashed my left eye. I was in such instant blinding pain that I had a hard time gathering myself and identifying exactly what had happened. I shut my saw off and threw it up out of the right-of-way, and, clutching my eye, stumbled and staggered back over downed timber to where the crew was working. I remember little of the next few days because the pain blotted everything out. Fortunately, I didn’t lose the eye, but it’s been blind for all these years. Time has changed its color, so now my sighted eye is green and the blind one is dark brown. Anyway, the last significant thing I ever saw with full sight was that black bear, a pretty cool last thing to have seen. I went to hair school after that accident, and cut hair for 25 years with only one eye. I was never forthright with clients about why my eyes were different colors, I guess I didn't want them to know that a one eyed barber was cutting their hair.

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