Friday, April 26, 2013



Originally, I was going to write about the origins of the last name of “Wallace,” a name shrouded in mystery and whose original meaning in old Welsh is “foreigner” or “stranger,” which means we did not originally come from Glasgow, or any place in Scotland, but more likely somewhere around Eastern Europe or Russia, but after yesterday's self-indulgence, and a happy instance of interesting bit of labor, that I was able to witness, I chose “work” instead.

For those who are not familiar with my blog, I was homeless when I started this... whatever it is. “Chronicles” is the proper term, I guess, even though I am no longer homeless, I live among homeless people, still. It has become a catch-all for all of the stuff that goes on in da 'hood, as I've not left, just moved across the street. Anyway, there are new and interesting things going on, the primary one of note being the refurbishing and re-opening of the Laundromat across the street from where I live.

The building on the corner is the Laundromat; the white house across the street (the notorious Nebraska Ave., 33602 and 33605) and to the right is an historical landmark. Teddy Roosevelt once stayed there. It was a brothel once, too!

When it closed, the former owner took away all of the innards; washers, dryers and stripped it to it's bare bones. That part of the business sat derelict for several months. The Honduran Restaurant next door in the building remained unaffected, going full-blast, all day. We were all faced with the idiocy of hiring a cab to take several of us to a laundromat about a mile away to wash all of our clothes. I was not going to wrangle clothes, wheelie-thingy, soap, blind-cane and all that in a City Bus. The Bus is already a crap-shoot; you never know when you're going to land in an episode of “Angel” or “Deliverance.” One needs to be a moving target to survive a ride on The Bus.

Anyway, a few of us would pool our money and off we'd go. Those days will soon be behind us. Yesterday, the crane came and put 2 2-ton HVAC units on the roof of the new Laundromat. I was able to get some pictures of this and I was mightily impressed. These men knew how to work it. There were 5 men, a truck and a huge crane. I know nothing of mechanics, but I do know they used a stabilizer, as the crane was much higher than the truck was wide.

I was really too close to get the scope of how high this crane was in the air and I'm a terrible judge of height and depth, since I have no depth perception, but this thing was wayyyy up there!

One of the men rolled the 2 units to the front of the truck and secured the units; one at a time, with chains that were attached to the crane. He gave a thumbs-up. The guy sitting in a cabin, who was controlling the crane, started to lift the unit, slowly, at first. As he did this, he began to swing the unit around in a 180arc, while raising the unit to clear the roof. He did it quickly and efficiently, first increasing in speed, then slowing as he approached the 2 men waiting on the roof to help jockey the unit into position for connection.

I already had my camcorder out, and had taken some stills, but I wanted to get the movements of this. It was done so smoothly and these men worked so efficiently, it reminded me of a ballet, or more appropriately, a crew of sailors, they worked that tightly. It was beautiful to watch. Being legally blind and being excited, even in a good way, doesn't really help my Parkinson's tremors. Mea culpa. The recording is a bit jerky, but I think I captured the essence of it.

It was kind of crazy and I was excited; I'm sure the men thought I was nuts. But it was fun!

Said and done, the whole operation lasted maybe 20 minutes. Quite an accomplishment. Some people spend their whole lives working at jobs they hate and feel like drudges. I didn't get that feeling from these men at all. They were quick and efficient; they did their work and then sat in the shade and shared some beers. I can relate; I always loved my work; there's a reason musicians play.

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