Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part - 19.h.5 - Recap 3


19.h.5. WORK RECAP (5)

I guess I developed an interest in the construction industry naturally. As I noted before, I would "grade roads" complete with ditches, bridges, etc. in the back yard. Would drive up every nail I could find, mostly in the ground, when I was very small. I would practice loading and stacking loads of wood, etc. on my wagon, and always have a special "haul road" to go on. I always loved to smell fresh turned earth on the farm. And, I've always loved operating any type equipment, from a toy tractor to the big ones. The only thing that I have never run and have always wanted to, was a motor grader.

I love to see new things being built, from houses to churches, office buildings to new structures in industrial plants. I love to see these industrial projects go from (under) the ground up to the simply amazing ways that products we use all the time are coming off the ends of production lines. It amazes me how so many brilliant minds have gone into just thinking some of these things up, much less the complicated methods it takes to produce them.

I've been on projects to build structures that make bag paper, writing paper, tissue to wipe either end, newsprint, magazine glossy paper; rayon, nylon and TENCEL fibers, that are used for making clothes, belting, and so many other uses; plastic pellets to be transformed into things from garbage bags to house siding, to non-corrosive gears for machinery and fishing reels; elevators and escalators to save us from using all our energy climbing stairways; to missiles that carry men to the moon or to blow away a whole country; to nuclear products that may destroy the world or provide fuel for power plants or ships; to aluminum mills that melt ingredients down and pour the molten materials into huge ingots that are later made into foils, soda cans and lightweight materials for truck frames, to containers, to baseball bats; to cement plants for supporting all these plants as well as highway systems; to crude oil that is made into fuel and lubricants for vehicles to keep the world mobile; to ships to move the world's cargo; to roads to give the world mobility; to churches to worship in comfort and fellowship; to shopping centers for plying the world's goods; to schools to educate the people; to auto dealerships to vend transportation vehicles; to parks for leisure; to airplane engines to propel people and products by air; to communication centers for telephone, radio and television to keep the world "smaller"; to hospitals to heal the ill; to nursing homes to house the afflicted; to office buildings for business; chemical plants that can poison the world or deactivate the poison or so many other uses; to paints to preserve and beautify structures and vehicles; to pharmaceuticals to cure the headaches or bandage the wounds of the people; and many, many more.

Wow! Have I been in all those places?!?!

I have performed jobs to test the quality or paper being made; lay out buildings and machinery locations to assure they will "fit" in the world; purchase products to make up and to construct these places; supervise crafts in assembling, constructing and handling materials; purchasing, receiving and warehousing materials; designing office buildings; driving tractors and trucks; keeping fleets of vehicles and equipment purchased and maintained; and developing and managing Safety programs to meet compliance requirements for the health and well being of all workers who perform the work associated with all the aforementioned endeavors.

I have "plied my trade" in Millry, The Greater Mobile Area from McIntosh to Theodore, Sheffield, Dothan and Jackson, AL; Pascagoula, Gulfport, Moss Point, Starkville and Bay St. Louis, MS; Pensacola, Panama City and Port St. Joe, FL; Oak Ridge, TN; Skowhegan (Somerset), ME; New Orleans and Lake Charles, LA; Houston, TX; and Athens, GA.

I guess I'd have to say that my first paying job was picking cotton for Mr. Jim Whigham. Calvin Stokley, Robert A. McLean and I would pick for him each year for about three years. We'd get a whole two cents per pound that we picked. On the first year, the most I picked in a day was 75 pounds ($1.50), the second was 77 pounds ($1.54), and the third, I really "got after it" one day and picked 137 pounds ($2.74). Of course those jobs didn't last but a week or so each year. We'd have to wait until up in the morning if there was dew that morning. The day I picked 137 pounds, there was no dew, so we started about 6:30 am and picked until dark. I've heard of people that could pick 3, 4, or 500 pounds in a day. Now that's "grabbin' some cotton!"

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