Hurricane Harvey blew a couple oak trees down in our yard . . . more accurately it snapped one about 2-feet above the ground. Interestingly enough, that one was an 8-inch tree alongside the driveway. As we assessed the hurricane damage, Chris requested that we widen the driveway. We decided to extend it 5-feet on each side, thus the fallen tree needed to be removed. The contractor hired to do the work tore up two pieces of his equipment trying to remove the stump. He finally gave up. I then engaged a fellow with a large rubber-tire hydraulic backhoe to remove the stump. After a half hour of trying, he gave up and left. The crazy thing about it is that native live oaks along the coast are known to have a shallow root system and high winds often knocks them over with the root-ball intact, but not this particular tree. There were much larger trees (18-24 inches) at the apartments that were blown over and the root-ball was mostly out of the ground.
As we looked over the mess in my yard that had been left by the guys and their equipment, David said, “I will get it out!” I chuckled and asked how he proposed to do that? To which he replied, “The old fashioned way . . . the way folks removed stumps before all of this equipment was available, the way folks did it before they had money to hire it done . . . with a shovel, pick axe, and a chopping axe!”
David worked patiently most of Monday and did a bunch of digging and root-chopping. It has been kind of fun to watch that hard-headed, determined old rascal challenge the task that defeated three pieces of earth-moving equipment. I believed him when he told me, “I will have it out on Tuesday.”
Old dudes do, indeed, rock . . . but the sad thing is that there are not many others out there quite like my friend David Hembree. He is as tenacious as a pit-bulldog. The experts report that a pit-bull is peculiar in that when he bites down on an object, he simply cannot let go until his teeth come together! That pretty much describes David. If that rascal showed up at the Kentucky Derby with a sway-backed mule and said he could compete with the thoroughbreds, I would bet a few bucks on the rascal to at least ‘show’!