Daredevils

I have mentioned how I didn’t like to get away from solid footing.  That’s me.  Some people are regular daredevils.

On one job we had set some metal poles that were quite tall.  The poles were engineered to telescope together in pieces, placed on top of one another to reach the required height.  You may have noticed quite a few of them recently.

On the job I was on we had used a bucket truck to set some of the first, lower, sections, but as we got higher the bucket truck no longer sufficed and a crane had to be used to lift more sections up.  A man was required to go up the pole on pre-installed pegs to help guide the next section in and fasten it in place.

One of the boys I worked with would scamper up these poles like he was right at home.  He would climb to the very top and stand there looking around the countryside.  One time he announced; “I can see your house from here, Adrian.”  It was about 5 miles away.  Just to say he did it, he then went over the top and came down the other side.

Iron workers that work in tall buildings are another group I would call daredevils.  Iron workers will go up the framework of a structure as they are assembling it.  I have wondered if they have a death wish.

Another group of daredevils that I met on one of our jobs was a crew of Native Americans that would assemble T.V. antenna structures.  When they put together the structure on the outskirts of the town I was living in, the tower was quite large.

The tower was so large that a temporary lift was installed on the inside of the framework.  When the lift could go no higher, this crew would get out and climb up the legs of the tower to do their work.  The tower was supported by guy wires running from the upper reaches of the tower to the ground, and they were periodically checked for proper tension.

To do our electrical end of the job, we would carry the light fixtures, conduit and wire to the top of the structure and work our way down.  We installed one light fixture at the top and added to that on our way down at regular intervals.

Maintenance of the light fixtures and bulbs as well as the inspection of the guy wires required someone to go up and come down this tall tower regularly.  The crew that installed the tower solved part of that requirement by attaching a small hand cart with a breaking system to a guy wire and then zip down the guy wire to the ground.

The descent could be described as “rapid.”  Sometimes the breaking only occurred at the very end of the ride.

After finishing the job I was on, the tower crew moved south to another town to install another tower.  During the construction of that tower, the tower tipped over and killed everyone on the crew including the man on the truck.

You gain a lot of respect for men like that.

And it’s why I try to stay as close to the ground as possible.

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