........... He smiled through three days of whiskers, said who he was, and eased himself down on a deadfall just right for
sitting. Work boots, rolled pant legs, faded shirt and hunter's hat with orange earflaps spoke plainly about this man --
my neighbor, I soon learned. He talked of the mountain and the land and the river in a quiet, easy way. I so enjoyed
listening to him that I soon forgot the work and lost myself in this spellbinding account of Massanutten Mountain and the
"Now take this land right here, for example." he said with a sweep of his hand, "No need to buy things for a building
here. These pines are just right for what y'need. Building stone aplenty, too. Look here. Like this one." He picked up a
shoe box sized field stone, gray in color. "See how it's the right size and shape for stacking into piers. If you open them
up you'll see all the colors. Red, blue, green, white, black, and more. Make a pretty fireplace, 'f I do say so."
Well, naturally a log cabin had crossed my mind but not seriously. It seemed well beyond my skills – but I could easily
see how that stone could be easily stacked, it being so flat and the right size. Warren continued, "That big pine yonder
could make you two sill logs and the two beyond it would finish up the sills.” Then he built the walls and cut windows and
made a fireplace all without leaving the deadfall and without buying anything except.”...a little mortar for the stone work
and chinking between the logs later on." Looking back, I think even Warren got caught up in the endless possibilities of
what he was saying. I know that I was so deep into those word pictures that my thoughts raced, the adrenaline flowed,
and by the time we both came to I was near gulping for breath. But I had the picture. It absolutely would be a log cabin
and it was already started, crystal clear in my mind, finished, and sparkling there overlooking the valley. The first log
down was the one I was sitting on -- down, ready to bark, and begin seasoning. I looked at it and smiled. I was actually
sitting on my building material. Quail High was started.
The first time I remember working with green wood, I made a slingshot. I might have been five or six years old in rural
Mississippi. I still can’t resist cutting a perfect fork when I see one, thinking surely it will make a good slingshot stock.
Dozens of this fantasy stock have accumulated in the wood shed at Quail High waiting to be fashioned into slingshots,
hooks, handles, and pegs. Dozens more are finished and installed or displayed in the buildings. The sight of them still
gives me satisfaction and pleasure. They cost nothing, the quality is superb, last a lifetime, and there is only one of
each in the world. They cannot be duplicated any more than a watercolor painting can be reproduced exactly. Now it is
a recognized craft in its own right and named green woodworking.