Woody Dulac pokes at the fire he has going in his backyard on Whitney Street in Auburn last week with a soda in one hand and a cigar in the other. 

Most everything in the backyard of the retired carpenter is his handiwork.  The fire burns inside an old bucket from his 1954 Ford front-end loader he still uses to plow his driveway and do other chores around the house. 

“I bought two, but only used one and when I took down the pool, I found it and got the idea to use it for a fire pit.” 

The flames and smoke are vented through a series of cinder blocks, patio pavers and bricks that can also be used to cook food.  “We mostly only cook hot dogs and marshmallows now,” said Woody, whose first name is Wilfred.

Between seasonal yard work last week, one of his projects was to dig out an old oil tank that he cut in half and set near the fire pit in hopes of it keeping his wood dry.  “Some things work out, this one didn’t.  I’ll take it to the scrap yard.”  

In the side yard, what looks like a wooden Stonehenge is actually a half-dozen telephone poles jutting up about 10 feet high. “It’s what’s left of a 10-by-10 treehouse I built for the kids.  Our three kids, along with a bunch of the neighborhood kids, would spend all day out there and sleep there all the time.  It had four windows, a screen door and electricity.” 

When his children moved out, he left it up, but with it getting old and kids coming over at all hours of the night, he feared somebody might get hurt, so he took it down.  

Living next to a small patch of woods with a small stream, there are a lot of birds that visit several feeders he keeps filled. But for the most part, it’s just he and his wife now sitting in their backyard, gazing into the fire and reminiscing about all that went on in their backyard over the past 26 years,  between games of cribbage.

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