Top Black Racists of 2021: Introduction

Woodshed Autonomous Zone, Through No Fault of Our Own, Mostly (some alcohol involved) revives The Venerable WAZ Awards to honor the Top Black Racists of 2021



It was April First. Fine, clear skies, temperatures up in the mid-40’s already. One of those days you feel the trees pulling life from deep in the earth, buds and cones poised for the largest biological process on earth, and out at sea, billions of anadromous fish getting excited, ready to run, and, spawn, and die, and maybe go back to nourish forest cones and buds as bear scat, in the midst of an orgy spread across every stream from here to the Aleutians.

Going into April we’re gaining 5 minutes of sunlight a day here in Southeast, Alaska. We’d all turned out at Ira’s saw mill to help muscle last year’s stack of windfall cedars making honest 8×8’s for greenhouse bases. He expected to build the greenhouses next month and we’d help on those, too. The usual April Fool’s jokes started at midnight with Tim leaving a huge, “Obama 2024: Still My President!” lit up with chicken lights in Sonny’s yard..

We began milling logs at 7 and had the wood stickered and stacked by 6 that night when Ira’s daughter, who’s 13, pulled up in her dad’s pick-up. The cab loaded with homemade bread, hot venison stew, 3 pies, four bottles of single malt from the local distillery—where the distillers always remembered Ira, who’d built their barrel room, by sending him the first of every batch. Little Punkin sniffed the air, “Yellow cedar! I love cedar!” and, “Dad, mom says don’t stay out too late. I’ve got to get to hockey.” and she was off.

Days cool fast as light goes behind the mountains. We cooled fast too, once we stopped work. Ira’s shop, warmed by that giant rocket mass heater he and Cosmo’d built, felt hotter than Furnace Creek in July. We brought the meal inside and dove in.

There we were. Tired, well fed, sore, but satisfied as guys our age are after a long day. Given that excellent single malt (with local notes of alder smoke and seaweed instead of peat) to massage the joints, we were soon mellow as can be. Ira put on his Derroll Adams cap pulled out his banjo and began to tune. Al Purdy, ‘Our Pal Al,’ who keeps an old Washburn in Ira’s shop for just such occasions, pulled up a seat and they were off. ‘Wreck of the Old 97’ ‘He was a Friend of Mine.’ ‘Ramblin Fever.’

You might think that should have been enough of a good day to satisfy anybody, and it should be, but there’s one in every crowd and in our crowd, it’s NuGene. Who just can’t leave well enough alone.

To be continued…