Wood: It just might start a growing relationship
04.11.2017

After my sophomore year of college, and a three-month tour of Europe with friends, I left the confines of Willamette University in Salem for the expansive campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Within days I located a small, second-story studio in east Eugene that was a quick motorcycle ride to campus.

After a month or so, I got this crazy idea to cover two interior walls with cedar shakes. I love the smell of cedar, and I thought the wall covering would be a cheap, cool way to dress up the otherwise drab apartment. Somehow, the landlord agreed. I located a cedar-shake mill in west Eugene (long gone now, I’m sure), wrestled several bundles of cedar up the stairs, and went to work.

By the end of the weekend, I had nailed the cedar to the walls. The studio smelled and looked great. I was ready to entertain.

Shortly thereafter my girlfriend, who lived in Southern California, visited. “Your apartment is nice,” she said. “Let’s have a dinner party.” She invited one of her close female friends and her date. We fixed dinner and ate cross-legged on the floor at a table made from a couple wood planks spread across concrete blocks. Candlelight and wine added to the atmosphere – along with, of course, my cedar wood wall.

Distance eventually dampened the budding romance with the young woman from Southern California. But that other coed, the one my girlfriend invited to dinner, must have been impressed by the cedar walls – and, no doubt, my initiative. A few years later, we were married. And now here we are, 45 years after that, still passionate about each other – and still loving wood.

Which serves to brings up one question: What can wood do for you?

For the forest,

Paul Barnum

Executive Director 

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