|At 75 and still
driving, Spencer is Zwolles 2013 Oldest
By Tom Kelly
Adolph Spencer, Oldest Zwolle Logger
Pleasant Hill is, as the name implies, a pleasant community nestled in the northeast corner of Sabine Parish, Louisiana, where Louisiana 147 and 175 cross, a stone's throw from the DeSoto and Natchitoches Parish boundaries. The drive through the off-Interstate byroads is through a series of pine plantations in various stages of maturity--an altogether relaxing experience close to nature.
Exiting Pleasant Hill headed west, just before leaving the corporate limits, a right turn and about three blocks will bring you to the comfortable homestead of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph (Dorothy Thomas) Spencer. A healthy-looking 75, Mr. Spencer still drives his log truck regularly, and looks forward to being crowned as the Oldest Logger at the 19th annual Zwolle Loggers and Forestry Festival held May 10-12 at the Zwolle Festival ground.
On the morning that I arrived for the interview, at around 10 a.m., Mrs. Spencer was still abed--he said she worked nights for so many years she still sleeps late in the morning.
Mr. Spencer was born in Pleasant Hill community, and has resisted urges by family and friends to move away to the cities. His father, John C. Spencer, worked in sawmills and in railroading. Adolph did farm work and other jobs for awhile earlier, and began logging in 1966 for the Remedies family. In 2000, he went to work hauling for A.T. Martinez, until Mr. Martinez' death in 2005. He switched to a connection with A.T.'s son, Kevin Martinez, where he is now employed. Altogether, he put in 12 years with the Martinez family.
Adolph Spencer is father to a "blended" family of seven children, including four boys and three girls from two marriages. Two of his brood finished college at Northestern State Uniersity in Natchitoches, and one at Southern University in Baton Rouge. The familty is scattered to Austin and San Antonio, Texas, South Carolina, and Illinois. Two daughters remain in Pleasant Hill. He is proud of the 17 grandchildren and three great grandchildren that keep the generations alive.
Mr. Spencer says he has no plans to quit logging. He has had no injuries, and remains in good health. From the looks of him, there is no reason to, because, as he says, he has to get out of the house, and work is the perfect outlet.