Saturday, May 28, 2016

Sage words from Grandpa Joe

As all friends and relatives would attest, as a rule Grandpa Joe had a less than subtle way of getting his point across. Still, there were times when he could be impressively restrained yet make his point well understood.

He rented arc welders. Some of these weighed 1100 or 1200 pounds, so when they were shipped they had to be loaded by an electric hoist or crane onto the back of a pickup truck or flatbed. They tended to swirl in a gentle circle as they were raised or lowered. Sometimes they would have to be raised several stories, and I had gotten into the bad habit of standing nearly under the machines as they were raised, simply to watch the twirl.

One day while out on a job site with Joe, I was doing just that. Without a word he stepped near enough for me to hear. Looking up at the welder too as it rose he asked, "We used to have an old dog that would watch from underneath as we raised a load. You know what we did with him?"

"No, what?" I asked in return, only half listening and still looking up.

"We buried him."

As his point slowly dawned on me, and as he had already walked away, I took several steps from the action myself. Dummy me wasn't thinking that things can fall, and that half-ton things falling a long way can hurt you bad.

Point taken, Joe.

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