I was heading home on Hwy 1 when I spotted the old car
Sitting on the side of the road, lights flashing..
Scruffy young man sitting in the passenger’s seat.
As it turned out, he’d run out of gas…
(He’d also had too much to drink)
“Could I give him a lift?”
I was still in my Santa outfit…
“Nobody is ever going to believe me when I tell them, I was picked up by Santa,” he tells me.
Week before Christmas, we were scheduled to do a small roofing project.
Temperatures hovered in the low 20′s but when you’re wearing Carharts, a full Santa Claus suit, and walking 80 pound bundles of shingles up the ladder, trust me, you are going to sweat.
When I showed up for work that morning, my co-worker wasn’t ‘t so sure he wanted to be seen on a roof with me….
but by the end of the day,
he was wishing he had an elf hat….
Maybe next time
This urge to do this silly sort of attention grabbing stuff, bubbles under the soil of my life.
Once in a while it manages to escape.
By day, I am your compliant first born.
If you hadn’t read this post, and were to meet me in person you would never suspect…
When we were little, we used to take playing cards, clip a couple of them on the front of our bikes.
We would ride up and down the street, listening to the hum of the cards striking the spokes.
I can’t tell you what was going through the other guys minds, but I was in a motorcycle gang.
To this day, when I see a guy on a motorcycle
What does he do the rest of the week?
What is going through his mind when he opens up the throttle on the high way?
I’ve told this story before.
When I was in my teens I worked with Lester.
Semi retired farmer, working part time to make ends meet…
Mid to late 60′s…
“What does it feel like to be 60?” I asked.
“Well, inside, it feels like there is a still a little boy”…he tells me..
A little boy trapped in the body of an old man.
Here I am in my 50′s, and the little boy is alive is still alive and well in me as well.
(Not nearly the people pleaser I was when I was in my 20′s..)
But the little boy is still there, none the less.
Still can’t quite wrap my mind around face I see in the mirror these days..
Where did that dude come from????
I’m going to let you in on another little secret.
Next time you see some tough looking dude in construction…
Behind those sunglasses and tough exterior, the odd’s are they have little boys inside of them too.
I’ve been up close and personal with dozens of construction types the past 35 years…
Several have done hard time in the pokey.
That tough exterior is just a disguise 90% of the time.
A few years ago a friend of mine purchased an old building, asked if I could help install a patio door 20 feet up, through an exterior wall, covered with Stucco.
I came prepared, brought a cement saw with a diamond blade, a handful of new sawzall blades
(they look like sharp steak knives)
and two quarts of coffee.
Must have coffee.
Not sure if it’s like this in other work settings…but on construction sites, it always reminds me of my dad’s roosters. We circle and size each other up, to establish a pecking order. That day was no exception.
Young man in his 30′s was there to help me. His name was Johnny….
When I looked at the 4 sections of scaffolding set up for us to work on, the first thing I told him was I was allergic to heights.
“What???” he said, “I thought you were a framer, you’re telling me you are afraid of heights?”
“Yep” I smiled,
( he wasn’t sure what to think of me now, I was supposed to be the “expert”)
In 30 minutes working along side of me, Johnny went from questioning my sanity to thinking I was (his words, not mine - a “Master”).
I jumped on the section of scaffolding below Johnny, asked him to hand me the sawzall. He let it down by the chord, (it wasn’t running, but the 6 inch blade was sticking down as he swung it to me). It slid deeply into my wrist . I took one look at the wound and said, “Johnny, I need to go to the hospital” .
Johnny said, “You’re kidd’n right?” “No, I said, “I just got cut, and need to go to the hospital NOW!”
He felt terrible. “It would be one thing, if you were just some “grunt”, but you are a “Master” ” he moaned.
Hour and a half, $750.00 later I was back on the job, (forearm wrapped w/ 5 stitches)
I tried to supervise , but it was taking forever, so I grabbed the cement saw and went back to work.
“Man, you are one bad #*&, he said.”
If he only knew.