SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — High up on a hill in the McKenzie River Valley, you won’t find city sounds. It’s peaceful. Horses run free.
It’s just the way Carrol Fountain envisioned his life on the mountain he was born on a century ago.
Every morning he wakes up and gets to work gathering wood.
“I’m always busy,” Fountain said. ” I guess that’s about it.”
Loading it up, piece by piece, he drives it to his house, brings it in, stokes the fire, and then with company of his faithful dogs Sophie and Kitt he sits and enjoys the warmth.
It started Jan. 19, 1913. Carrol D. Fountain came into the world weighing 13 pounds–a big baby and a cute one.
“This is dad’s cup from being prettiest baby in Lane County,” said his daughter Pam Johnson.
A cup and a coin are just some of many tokens he would go on to earn.
Breaking horses is one of Fountain’s many talents. He spent his early years in Drewsey as a buckaroo. Later, he was a logger and rancher who faced a couple close calls.
“Lady Luck has a lot to do with all these things, you know,” Fountain said.
Somehow he managed to escape danger. He got married in 1935 to Ethel Currant and had three sons and daughter Pam, who’s amazed at his tenacity.
“Always gets up early. He does things to keep himself busy,” she said. “He hasn’t been able to in the last couple of years as much, but he still gets out.”
Fountain still tends to his orchards and raises cattle. One thing I noticed, he laughs a lot.
“Well, yeah you got to be kind of happy or you are going to pass away early I think (laughs),” Fountain said.
Laughter, staying busy and lady luck–his secrets to a long life. That and simply getting out to enjoy it.