Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Hungry Years

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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