LESTER BENTWELL APPRECIATED A GOOD SAW when he saw one. In fact, the Wausau, Wisconsin native could rarely pass up buying a saw and so his garage was full of them. Although Lester was a barber by trade, he longed to be a professional carpenter. Little did the men of Wausau know that when he was trimming their hair, he was dreaming of sawing 2X4's.
Mrs. Bentwell on the other hand, really didn't understand Lester's fascination with hand saws and she thought it odd that in the back of the family's care, he kept a large wooden carpenter's box with several of his favorite saws--for "just in case." Mrs Bentwell would roll her eyes whenever Lester opened up the trunk to check on his saws and she was quick to make excuses when the grocery bag boy had to lift the grocery bags over the large wooden box.
Fate played in Lester's favor when Wausau was hit by a freak wind storm in the spring of 1957. Lester and his wife were driving home from the store during the storm when they came across a school bus which was stopped in the middle of the road, embraced by a huge oak tree. Lester slammed on the brakes, jumped out of the car and ran to see if anyone was hurt. He peered in the windows to see a group of panicking school children and a frazzled looking bus driver.
"WE CAN'T GET OUT! ...THE DOOR AND WINDOWS ARE BLOCKED BY THE LIMBS!!!" The excited bus driver yelled to Lester.
Lester tried to control the glee he felt as he raced back to his car to grab one of his saws.
There are still a few people around Wausau who remember that stormy day back in '58 when a "hero" barber came to the rescue of a bus-load of school children, single-handedly sawing off tree limbs to make good their escape.