A Christmas Story Prologue

Bob Pollock raises his arm to calculate the height of a tree on a hillside in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on Saturday.
Bob Pollock raises his arm to calculate the height of a tree on a hillside in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest on Saturday. Photo by Brooks Johnson

The morning I met the Pollocks, I woke up to find someone had gone through my car outside my home overnight. My wife’s too.

That left me shaking my fist pretty hard at Cowlitz County as I drove to the Oak Tree in Woodland early Saturday morning to meet my hunting party.

My vitriol only lasted the drive, as a warm welcome and a seat at the table of eight melted the fresh ice around my heart. I felt like part of the family, not an intruder on a cherished tradition. They were as curious about me, a native North Dakotan walking far from home, as I was of them.

By the time I was back at my car at the end of the day, I had forgotten why my owner’s manual and a few old cassettes were scattered around the passenger seat — true Christmas spirit had reigned.

I hope this story spreads some of that spirit and does well by the memory of Dick Pollock, a longtime reporter and editor here at The Daily News. A big thank you and a Merry Christmas.

Enjoy the story.

Fresh snow weighs on trees and covers a forest road as the Pollock family heads into the backcountry on their annual Christmas tree hunt Saturday.
Fresh snow weighs on trees and covers a forest road as the Pollock family heads into the backcountry on their annual Christmas tree hunt Saturday. Photo by Brooks Johnson
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