Herb Ochs has a sign on his truck that reads: NOT MADE IN CHINA.
He has bumper sticker on it too. It reads: WHERE THE HELL IS EASY STREET?
I love Herb.
He has delivered firewood and mulch to us for at least 15-years.
The other day, he came by when I was home. I was surprised to see a leaner Herb, he had lost about 30 lbs. by my reckoning. He and his sister Sharon and an assistant name of Rick were busy stacking cord wood when I encountered him.
We commisterated about business, the economy and the nature of men, women and pick-up trucks.
Herb said, "I have a job because they can't make Missouri firewood and mulch in China."
Herb is the quintessential American Entrepreneur and commonsensetarian, he doesn't look for a handout or an entitlement. He just works with what he has before him everyday and he DELIVERS!
He delivers, mulch and firewood logs that are split, dried and and he even neatly stacks them for you. Herb is in top management, which means that in addition to doing what every one else on his crew does, he also gets to drive the truck, talk to the customers, collect the money and pay his helpers.
Herb also delivers wit, wisdom and warmth with his friendly natural easy-going style. I told him that he was the hardest working man I knew.
He wise-cracked, "I wish you'd say that louder."
I got him to pose for a few photos with me and my partner Kevin will soon be posting the photos on our new ORCA website - COMING SOON!
I decided to take Herb on as a "client" - because for years he's given me much more VALUE than I've paid for.
I'm not talking about the extra firewood in his "long cord" or extra wheelbarrow loads of mulch or unexpected bed edging either.
Herb has given me a very special gift.
The gift of "Get up and go!" And, a special brand of "No belly achin' and never give up!"
Herb is an inspiration. He has overcome all kinds of ups and downs and adversities.
But when I look into his still twinking eyes I can see the grateful and indominatable Spirit of America staring right back at me.
Birk, Commonsensetarian and Citizen of the Republic
PS: If you want to contact Herb for firewood, mulch and inspiration, gimme him buzz at at 573-788-2229 and tell him his pal Birk sentcha!