Fish and whistle

Back to Blogging/Ice storm story

By: ShenValleyFlyFish, 7:09 PM GMT on March 06, 2012

When I worked at the one machine shop a local trucker, who was a notorious shyster brought in several of his cattle haling trailers to have the king pins (attach the tractor to the trailer) replaced. The minute that it got out that one of his trailers was on our lot the boss got calls from all over The Valley warning him to cover his butt. Boss decided that no one could collect anything if the man couldn't hall, so told him cash only.

Whenever we finished one we he would park it against a wall where it was within view and sound of his house, lower the skid-stand legs as low as they would go, wrap a casehardened chain and lock around them and the jack handle and then park a kaloppi forklift that he had recreated around bits and pieces of one he bought that was headed for the scrap yard, probably originally from Shipyards down Norfolk way, which he would place at an angle bang up against the front of the trailer and then pull the distributor cap or some such. Can you sing "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere?"

Guy would come in and count out the money for the job in $100 bills on the book-keepers desk, biggest pile of cash I've seen at one time. Bookkeep would sweep all the $$ into a cash bag, jump into the company truck and hightail it over the hill to the credit union the shop belonged to. Lock and chain and forklift moved only after he made a phone call back that all the bills passed muster and were in the safe. Shop was owned by Mennonites so no firearms involved in transaction, but the shop truck was a brother to the fork lift and bookkeeper was a little guy doing part time retirement work and had a bit of a Napoleon Complex so I'd have hated to be the guys who tried to cut him off and hold him up on the way to the bank. God didn't create many fools in that bunch when it came to caring for his blessings. (Why did he choose me?)

One Monday we had a storm of Biblical proportion that left a sheet of ice over everything. I was driving an old 4 door Dart at the time a buddy at the shop and and I had resurrected from his junk yard. (Do we have a pattern here? "Swords in to plowshares" and "waste not want not"?) I got up early and threw some chains on, started out in plenty of time and was proud as punch as I turned into the shop and realized I was first and would get to open as the Boss hadn't even ventured down the hill from his house yet.

Well the Good Book says "Pride goeth before a fall" and "truer speaks were never worded" (another friend's saying) that day. Much to my dismay I realized my success on the highway was not as much due to my skill and foresight as to the fact that the county trucks had been out crunching up the ice with their chains and mixing in salt all night. The shop parking lot would have served for a rink a Zamboni driver would have had cause to brag about. Dead ahead about 25 yards on the vector that I had set the Dart on as i turned off the highway was the counter-weight end of the Forklift. A couple of the guys had come in on Saturday and knocked out the latest trailer.

If you have 0% traction, trying to accelerate into a turn with chains serves to slightly change speed but not direction, breaking is useless and reverse does nothing. I learned all these facts as the forklift seemed to approach like a malevolent turtle. Can you say "Steam Bath".

They say "You live and you learn" but that isn't in the Scripture and I don't appear to be much of a student.

Visitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

provided by online degree programs

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Fish and whistle

About ShenValleyFlyFish

Been called an "Overeducated Red-Neck" "60's Holdout". Work with Messed-Up Kids. Fishing keeps me semi-sane. DWM-60 3 adult kids 1 GDS/1GDD

Ad Blocker Enabled