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Firewood a livelihood for some
Possible winter storms can mean more business
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Harold Grizzle and Melinda Chadwick talk about their experience selling firewood Saturday at their Hall County home. The two share the load with Grizzle chopping the wood and Chadwick advertising their sales online. - photo by Erin O. Smith

If you need firewood for the remainder of winter, Harold Grizzle has been chopping wood and selling it for a living for the past 12 years, so he knows what he’s doing.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” Grizzle said.

That’s partly because Grizzle chooses to use a real axe, not a wood splitter, which would make his job a bit easier. His is not your regular 9-to-5 job. He works when there is wood to chop, but if there’s no wood, he doesn’t get paid.

“It’s my livelihood,” the Hall County resident said.

He also makes some money as a boat mechanic, but he makes most of his ends meet by delivering and selling the firewood out of his Hall County home.

“We sell from here, but we also deliver,” Grizzle said.

Grizzle has gone out as far as Spaghetti Junction near Atlanta to deliver wood to homes. He’s also made trips out to Dahlonega and Cleveland.

“We’ll go 25 miles for free, but after 25 miles we have to charge,” Grizzle said, explaining that without the $20 gas money he charges after 25 miles, he wouldn’t make anything.

As it is, he sells half cords, or 4x4x4 cubes of wood, for $100 and whole cords, or 4x4x8 for $220.

He enlists the help of his brother on occasion, who helps him use the chainsaw to cut down the trees. Once the wood is chopped, Grizzle sets it out to dry for a few weeks.

“People don’t want to buy it if it’s not dry,” Grizzle said.

Business stays pretty steady through the year, he said, because people buy wood for gatherings in the summer and to keep their houses warm during the winter.

“People have bonfires and stuff like that,” Grizzle said.

His business did pick up a few years back when the ice storm hit.

“When the ice came through, trees were on the roads, so we picked those up to clear the roads,” Grizzle said.

Some trees couldn’t be picked up, due to lack of landowners’ approval.

Melinda Chadwick helps him out by stacking the wood and keeping up with their online advertisements through websites like Craigslist. Right now, they do most of their business through word of mouth.

“We usually get their phone number so we can call them back,” Chadwick said.

Whenever they have a new customer, they take down their information so they can follow up with them a few months later to see if they need any more wood.

This method has worked for them so far.

“We stay pretty steadily busy,” Grizzle said.

For more information, call 678-502-9055.

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