Garcie is Oldest Logger
Herman (Red Rider) Garcle was photographed with his last truckload of logs, before
retirement in 2000. He will be honored as Oldest Logger at Zwolle Loggers Festival
this month.

Herman Garcie, who first worked in the logging woods at age 16 with his father, is now four years retired at age 69, but he continues a habit begun many years ago while driving the big trucks as a hauler. He is still "on the air," with the CB radio "handle" of "Red Rider", chatting with the passing parade from a comfortable chair in his living room with a base-station setup that reaches the territory around his home on Garcie Road, off the Blue Lake Road near Zwolle.

"Red Rider" will receive another honor as the Oldest Logger, at the 22nd Annual Zwolle Loggers Festival May 6-7. He looks forward to seeing a lot of his old friends and fellow CBers at the event.

As Mr. Garcie wrote down his own professional and family history, "I first started logging at age 16, during summer months with my father, Sam Garcie, skidding logs and peeling poles. Equipment used at this time was a 1946 Ford single axle truck, pair of mules for skidding, double blade axe, peeling hoe, and a crosscut saw.

"When my father passed away in 1953, I went to work in DeQuincy, Louisiana, on logging and pole jobs. Three years later, I married my wife, Ella Crooks, went to Shreveport, and went to work at Foremost Dairies. After four years, I decided to move back to Zwolle, and got a job at Hunt Lumber Company. We started our family of six-- three sons, Ricky, Terry, Randy, and three daughters, Linda, Danette, and Tina.

"My job at Hunt Lumber Co. was skidding logs and operating a D5 Cat dozer making sets and building roads. I left Hunt Lumber for a better job hauling logs and moving equipment for Sabine Lumber Company.

"Eventually, Boise Southern bought out Sabine Lumber Company. My office location was in Florien. After nine years with Boise I moved to hauling chips from Willamette in Zwolle to DeRidder for James Hendrickson. During this period I taught my son, Jerry to drive a chip truck. I moved on to drive for T.J. Malmay until my son Jerry started his own hauling contractor business in 1986. After 12 years I went to work for Timber Harvesters, owners Ernie and Linda Sepulvado, where I retired in the year 2000. I hauled my last load fromn Toledo Town to Florien Boise mill driving a 1994 blue Western Star with a four-quarter Cat engine and a 15 speed transmission. Since my retirement I spend my life with my family and many friends, enjoying life and talking on my CB base station to all who know me by my CB Handle, "Red Rider."

"We now have 24 grandkids and 22 great grands, and are expecting more in November--three, including twins, and one."

The Garcies, Mr. Herman and Mrs. Ella live comfortably at their home on Garcie Road, in a wooded glen in the Ebarb community northwest of Zwolle not far from the northern shores of the Toledo Lake that lies between Louisiana and Texas. Their den and living room space is chock full of mementoes of their large family, and of Mr. Garcie's trophies from early deer hunts. They cherish the holoiday gatherings when the family of children and grandchildren crowd into the home where they were raised, to enjoy family fellowship, and the fine cooking that Mrs. Garcie is fond of doing. (She served generous portions of a freshly-baked cake, with freshly brewed coffee as we conducted the interview and viewed the walls and tables crowded with the artifacts from years of family life.)

One prized display is a print made from a life-size oil painting of the Christ figure, done by their granddaughter Britney, daughter of Jerry and Tracy Garcie. The painting (see photo) was done for a competition at the the Negreet High School, where she is a 17-year-old senior. She was awarded first prize of $300; due to a complaint of having a religion-themed picture hanging in the school, she was disqualified as winner, and gave back the prize money. The original now hangs in the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Zwolle, where the family are long-time members.