Woody Lobnitz is a good friend of mine. He was born in 1921 so I would guess that this story takes place in the mid-1930s. His story was actually an e-mail sent to his kids with me on the copy list. It was sparked by the fact that his son and daughter-in-law (Tom and Carmen) had just purchased a wood burning furnace. Read and enjoy!
(Note added February 6th, 2010:   Woody died this morning in a hospital in Duluth; he was 88 years old. But this story, like the many other stories he told, lives on.)