Texas Heritage, Winter 1985

Pining Away
by: Dianne David
"The waste of our forests is a comment on the complete indifference to
the preservation of something for those who will come after us. It's
come to a great crescendo now across this continent. In our total disregard
for tomorrow, we're turning whole areas of our country into
deserts." John Henry Faulk, 1984

"one of the great experiences of my life was the
first time I saw the arrival of a truckload of
longleaf pine lumber." Dianne David

" . . . what's happening to mankind on earth as "At one time there were 30,000 square miles
he despoils his resources?" John Henry Faulk of virgin pine forests in East Texas. It covered
48 counties and now it's all gone." Henry
Steinmann

Until not too long ago, I could have put
what I know about lumber in one very
small pocket. Henry Steinmann started
my education by showing me some
fabulous old pine lumber and giving
me a book to read about the Texas Timber
Industry.
Soon afterwards, John Henry Faulk
mentioned that a while back he had
narrated a television program about the
big thicket and that he was currently
working on another television program
that concerns the disappearance of the
East Texas forest. (Mr. Faulk's T.V.
show Texas Myths & Legends will be
aired February 27th on PBS.)

It occurred to me that I could get a
wealth of information from these two
men if they would agree to let me tape
a discussion. Here we have it: A talk
with Henry Steinmann, who left a
thriving Houston restaurant business to
move to Austin to start Waller Creek
Restoration Lumber Company, and
John Henry Faulk, well-known writer,
humorist and my own personal hero
who claims that on the subject of forests
and lumber he has no expertise but
some very strong opinions.

John Henry Faulk:
can History, but the
is a little beyond me.

I know Amerihistory
of trees
I'm glad Henry

Steinmann is here because he probably
knows more about this than I do.
Dianne David: Well, let me start
this off by saying that what we know as
modern lumber today looks like the
poor, ugly relative of old lumber. One
of the great experiences of my life was
the first time I saw the arrival of a truckload
of old longleaf pine lumber. The
boards were 16" wide, 3" thick and 30
feet long-the beams were gigantic. I
was amazed and for the first time I
could understand why people love
wood.
11

Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Winter 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45443/. Accessed September 19, 2014.