I began my adult working life as a construction laborer. Over a span of several years I did many different tasks, some challenging, some not so. Whenever my work ethic got me promoted to foreman, I still worked, instead of standing around looking boss-like.
I enjoyed being outdoors. I enjoyed using my muscles, my body. I loved acquiring new skills, such as dynamiting rock ledges, rock drilling, welding, operating machinery, etc.
In the summer of 1964, I supervised the installation of a chair lift at a local ski area. I borrowed a transit from an engineer I knew. From a friend I borrowed a book on navigation by Bowditch and, using the trig tables in that book, I set the towers in a perfect true line and at the right elevation.
Somewhere in there I got married and a son was born. There wasn't lots of money. We had a six year old Ford Fairlane. We rented for a time, then purchased a small house using two mortgages. The furnace was the old style gravity air unit with a large grille in the living room floor as the only source of heat.
There are more tales to tell, but I am trying to say that, like most people, I left work I loved in order to "do better." Taking office work in the field of construction, I wore a suit and tie. Again I did well, and, in time, was offered the vice-presidency. I took it. Big mistake. Life was never the same. Having made a committment, I gave the job my best. But I became sealed off forever from turning back, even in my imagination.
I regret it still, and I miss the hungry years:
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