As some of you know, I grew up in a little town in northwestern Nebraska. Chadron was your stereotypical Andy-of-Mayberry town with only one stoplight and still only has one to this day. Frankly, it was a great place for a kid to grow up.
The preceding is the beginning of a song performed by Styx that was a hit in the ’80s. It describes the trials and tribulations that many people faced during that time by misusing a certain illegal white substance.
Well folks, it’s been awhile since I have felt
whole enough to pen anything meaningful for these pages. The economic issues
surrounding the collapse of the construction industry that is such a big part
of my life and yours made anything that I may have had to say seem meaningless.
After much soul searching and a little prodding from John Wyatt, I have decided
to end my self-imposed exile from these pages.
times are good, people become complacent. Riding in gas guzzling land-yachts
and dwelling in cavernous McMansions tends to dull the senses and lulls people
into a false sense of security. The scale that was once used to measure the
distance between wants and needs became dangerously off-kilter.
In May 2000 some of the features and benefits of building with steel were discussed in an AID article co-written with my old pal Bill entitled “Life After Wood: Steel Studs on the Rise.” Like anything else, along with the benefits there are challenges.
Everyone who grinds it out day after day in the construction trenches, has at least one story of “stupidity unbecoming a human.” Some stories have tragic endings, while others generate belly laughs for years to come.
By always being willing to do work that was specialized and making sure that it was done right, I kept busy. I have suggested this idea in previous articles. And when I hear guys complaining that they can’t compete against the 30-man crews, I wonder if they have considered doing specialized work.
We had dodged more than one nor’easter up to that point, and were enjoying the effects of global warming, so when a friendly competition between three friends materialized into the Rock-Off for Michael’s Way, weather was not even a consideration.