I was a framing carpenter for about three years in the late 70s. There were three of us on the crew, me, my cousin Mac, and Greg, whom we called Dred, in honor of Vlad the Impaler (don’t ask me to explain). Mac and I were also aspiring Rock ‘N Roll musicians, while Dred was an accomplished belcher. He came from a town in Colorado where belching was considered an art form. In fact, they held an annual contest to crown the King and Queen of Belch. Dred was rather modest about his talent, but would often belch the entire alphabet, and sometimes the Star Spangled Banner, as part of his regular training ritual for the contest.
The houses we build were small, wood frame structures in rural locations (i.e. “out in the boonies”). This was probably a good thing because Dred and I were known to make up ridiculous lyrics to popular songs and howl them at maximum volume in out-of-key fashion. Mac threatened to wear ear plugs, but I think secretly he was humming along.
All of these houses featured at least one porch. The last task in completing a house was to build a set of steps leading up to the porch. This hallowed event was like completing the final brush stroke on a masterpiece or adding an exclamation point to the phrase, “Oh, Shit!”
I lobbied to build steps the first day on the job, but Mac was the lead carpenter and would have none of it. I think he was worried that Dred and I would scale the perch and assault with mountains with off-key song and belching. Upon seeing this week’s photo prompt I’ve reconsidered and now believe we should have hung the doors first and built the house around them.
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Everyone thought Jim was a little “out there.” Often categorized as rebellious, egotistical, eccentric, or even creative genius, he wrote poetry to the music playing inside his head.
His unpredictable behavior made it difficult for his co-workers, Ray, Robbie, and John, to get their work done on schedule. They were inclined to start every project at the beginning while Jim was infatuated with The End.
“People Are Strange,” he remarked, responding to criticism from those who ridiculed the Hyacinth House for having no walls. “If they open the Doors of Perception, they can hear the Cars Hiss by My Window.”
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