Archive for February, 2007

coming off the pass…

February 7, 2007

snoqualmie pass

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

The view out of my office shown here is going east off the pass at snoqualmie-obviously snowing,but not as bad as it was up near the summit. At least here the visability has cleared somewhat,but dont be fooled and trusting like the SUV that has come around me-this road has ice all over it but one can be decieved by the dampness of the slush and by merely seeing the pavement. Me-I’m scared to death and won’t feel better until I see the road level out. Coming off a mountain is like finding fools gold-the decline into a grade does not look steep until you are well into it. You can see what I mean by looking in this photo as the road looks fairly straight forward but indeed-it is quite a grade and dangeroas even in dry weather.
The great city of Seattle is behind me and everytime I would climb this grade to pull a load into Kent-which is usually where we went whenever in the Seattle region of Washington …I would think of what it must of been like to be the early pioneers of discovery of the lands in America-because they damned sure walked all of this.
In the cabin of a truck along the long lonesome highways the driver tends to allow his mind to wonder into places of thought-its all you can do! And those places are vast because of the many miles and hours and hours but the places I enjoyed the most were when I could go back into time to consider the hardships men and woman had to get across America and to endure the weather along the way.
In Nebraska there is a place where you can still see the wagon wheel tracks of those pioneers and it is amazing that not much more than a hundred years later I am sitting here by this computer and in a few seconds after I get done with this any one in the world can read it.

I can honestly tell you that I miss it . There was always something about going into a truck stop restaurant when the snow was covering everything outside and the effect of it made the places seem more homey and friendlier-the warmth of the indoors for sure had something to do with it but yet the way snow covers everything and compresses the world into smaller accessable spaces,it sort of pushes people together in an interesting sort of way.
I remember being snowed in a truckstop in Eire Pennsylvania-The Green Shingle,and they would quit menu cooking and the kitchen would make this wonderful beef stew and hot rolls and serve it up to anyone who sat down. It was just beef stew-but looking out into the grey of winter and the limited distance the snow storm allowed seemed to transform that stew into the best meal you ever had in your life.
Theres also Dysarts Truck Stop north of Bangor Maine-the kitchen used to hand out a bagged sandwich if you were heading north through the wilderness-the waitress’s ever on you if you left food on your plate telling you that you cannot leave until you have finished,but everyone in a state of concern for the driver heading north…especially if it was snowing. A guy could get stuck out there and it may be quite a wait before someone plows through-theres nothing there north of Bangor for around 150 miles-as I said,a wilderness.
Up in Mars Hill on US 1 up at the top of the state is a small old style truck stop. I was there one time and it snowed and the snow was so deep you sunk to your knees unless you wore snow shoes. I learned enough to just sit it out because the folks at the truck stop would send guys out with sacks of donuts and big thermous filled with coffee and at each truck they would advise us that the county was coming with the plows and would be clearing our way out as soon as they could-and there were always drivers green to the road who would not know about not locking the brakes down-the lines would freeze and the shoes would lock to the wheels and it usually took a bit of work to thaw them out crawling beneath the trailer with a hand held torch to run along the lines to melt the ice in the moisture the air makes inside them. Those who kept thier brakes free would be able to form a convoy behind the snow plows and they would lead you to Houlton and to the road south….it needing plowed as well.
I learned to move wide loads-they kept you from having to mess around in the snow and ice-keeping you parked until the road was really safe since the bulk of wide loads are the costliest frieght on the road and they dont want to risk it being lost in a ditch somewhere and the DOT keeps us from moving and all of that extra precaution never hurt my feelings ever….like when the old days and I was pulling produce from Florida to New England-snow or no snow-it has to get there,so there is not precaution. Moving wides loads-I never ever had to put on my snow chains as I was not allowed to move….whereas-in a freight truck,general frieght-those chains have got to go on because the load has got to go on!
I dont why I felt like talking about this today-I guess its because I heard that places like the Twin Cities is snow bound and temps are low and under zero and the thought of that brought back memories-I allowed my brake lines to freeze up the in the north country about a hundred miles from St.Cloud and had to be towed to a huge barn with heavy duty heaters to thaw all of the truck out…my fuel was freezing too. It was a holiday-Christmas day and I felt sorry for the tow guy because he had to come fetch me…but not for long,every one at the shop was working and it was business as usual for them,and I don’t I felt sorry for him at all,he was in such a foul mood about life in general so I’m certain there was no spirit of holiday joy in the guy anyhow.
Oh well…if your going down a mountain pass and its snow and ice surrounding you-keep your foot off the brakes and keep your eyes straight on the road….and quit your worrys,your knuckles will turn pink again once you hit the bottom.

sitting on swinging pipe…

February 5, 2007

view from the top

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I am not one that can be labeled as someone who had a career. My work history was sporadic because my mental health issues kept me from feeling comfortable around other people and thus I would come and go from jobs frequently and mostly because I was afraid of someone-or some situation arose that made me feel fearful. Having no automobile made a lot of problems for me too-but I took a job with an outfit that had jobs that no one wanted to do and yet they had to be done….sandblasting,painting with toxic fumes around or the fiberglass shop-and they were’nt to disturbed by guys like me who were reliable as long as they were there working but yet those same men may or may not last out a week.
I had actually hired on there to be a truck driver-the shop in Gainesville was the supply hub for about 25 jobsites around the southeast,but the trucking jobs were limited to three full time drivers and those positions were like waiting to get entry into a high society country club-so I was stuck as what they refered to as a yard dog.
The main operation of the company was the construction of prestressed concrete water tanks-with up to 10 million gallon capacities,and they also developed waste water treatment facilities…almost every project was for a city utility and there is hardly a city I can go through that does not have one or more of these tanks involved in thier water works.
As I said-it was a come and go job-it was a rough job,most always out in the dust and sun….and every suprvisor had vocabularies of hard four letter words that they seemed to use more as terms of endearment…for instance-“thats one good muther fucker there,he’s one fuckin worker” or in opposite…”if that boy dont tighten up I’ll kick ten shades of shit out of him”. It was always like that-rough rough work and rough rough talk.
Now along the various times I offed and on with them I ended up working in the scaffold yard-a very go no where job. Trucks would return from the jobsites with hundreds of gunite caked scaffold frames and the braces and all the small attachments and we would have to take each frame and straighten it if it needed,or the worse was the sand blasting and painting,but what ever it was it was the same mundane pieces are parts and tasks over and over and over.
It had to have been my fortieth or fifty-fifth time of working there and that is where I ended up-I believe it was the spite of old BO who was my boss-it seems-everytime I went back to work there. But it would’nt have mattered-hardly any of the yard jobs were worth it.

[I need to note-to build these tanks the scaffolding is used to start the frame to hold the sheets of metal that form the core-and this outfit had thousands of scaffold frames and the became a rental service as a subsidiery of the main company.

One day while bending braces back into shape I began to notice this little Toyota pick up truck that was always sitting there and after inquiry I learned that it was the outside sales rep’s truck-but they had a very hard time finding any one to last long enough because they became intimidated by the job superintendants and all the cussing…which I was already used to by working in that yard,so I applied-and to my surprise and more so to BO’s surprise,I got the job….and by the time the next five years came and went I had become one of the leading scaffold men in the south east. The out fit was so pleased with how I built my knowledge up and they invested in me by sending me to Purdue-Calumet University to take courses in engineering and scaffold safety and I also was sent to WACO International school of scaffolding and with that and the years I had spent there on the off and on days I learned enough about building these things that I was good,damned good.
So to interject here-and return to my original sentance,I had three main occupations that I followed in my life,being a mortician-and most of all…the big rigs,and this place-building scaffolding.
And all that said just to tell you that it is one heck of a feeling sitting 90 feet up in the air on a inch and a half diameter piece of pipe waiting to sway back enough to grab the piece you need to connect that pipe with….its called having your ass wrapped around your neck because it is the only thing available to hold onto something way up there!
It is funny how we can adapt in situations-two hands and two feet that are born to be on solid ground and when we try to adjust them to working at great heighths and no foot holds or hand holds and not enough hands anyway to hang on and yet to build the tower you are on….and like I said-that tower is swinging in the wind with you as a ballest up there….so you learn how to use your butt cheeks as a third hand. Yeah-no joke…you get up there and feel that feeling your butt goes in two directions,one around your neck to hold you tight-from fear-and the other it wraps itself around that pipe so you can somehow feel you are not going to fall.

I’m soon going to habve to tell about Paul.
Paul was a guy that stood six foot tall and was well built as a man-but he was a stupid as a box of rocks. Perhaps one would be swinging from a pipe and had need for a hammer-and would yell down to Paul on the ground and yell to him to tie a hammer to your line and it did’nt matter what kind of hammer but Paul would stand down there and offer choices and debate the best for the job while all the time the wind has control of you and you are swaying to and fro on this pipe and desperatly needing a hammer to bend something back into position to lock the pipe in so you can catch yourself and get ready for the next section. Paul also had a habit of getting lost when you’d send him to a hardware or a supply yard….and he would stand in front of a pay phone as if you would randomly have that pay phone number and was going to call him to give him instructions….and the poor fool would stay in front of that pay phone for the longest time before he’d realise no one was going to call him.. He was dumb we one time sent him to a town south of here called Silver Springs and instead of going to Silver Springs which was twenty miles from here….Paul took off to Silver Springs Maryland-true story.


February 3, 2007


Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

well…computer screw that I am-I wrote todays blog under my photo description,so-click the pick and the story is there!
thanks for being interested in what I write.

blank-possibly brain dead!!!

February 2, 2007

box valley drawing-jay herron 2006

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

I woke today and my body is exhausted and does not want to move-my eyes are saying…lets go back to sleep,my arms are hardly able to hold up my hands so I can type. I sit here and have been trying to think-but my brain seems unable to function and it to seems to be urging me to turn this big box off and go back to bed. Its after six in the morning-I’ve been up since five.
I think I am so tired because my body spent a ton of energy trying to muster up the strength that it needs to go to the university campus to post these flyers I have been given the task to post…I asked for the job,do not get confused…I just had not weighed what it was going to be like.
I am phobic of crowded places-and I am so afraid of going into large public places,buildings are worse. Posting these flyers requires I do both….
Please-do not get me wrong,I am doing this because I volunteered and because I need to do it…to subject myself to public exposure and get out into the mass of things-the city,and the buildings (or in this case-the campus,but it is just as much a city as the city it is in ) and battle this fear-it is still the rapist winning ( after all ) and they have been winning too long-they still have me subjected to them and it has been 37 years??
The other day it was terrible-I thought it was going well and I was encouraged about the results of the first day ( of walking the campus to post the flyers ) but that day I had reasonable time to walk through the Veterans Hospital and also the Dental College across the highway-connected to the VA by a tunnel….but my second day I went into such a stress zone that I could hardly breath-being choked by my fear,and every where I went I could not even get my hands to open my car door. I even thought if I got away from campus and out of the need to go into the large buildings-I drove across the city to the Hospice thrift store ( thinking they would permit to post a flyer) I followed a mother and her twin boys-two five year olds-into the store. The kids had a flyer too and I hovered around the area they waited in after asking permission to hang thier flyer and the clerk said the manager refused…I was relieved-and sought cover behind two little boys??
I gave up that day and came home.
Yesterday I left the house before daylight and found a place in the city where I could park and I did my usual walk through the VA and then across to the dental school and found my bravery and got out onto the road leading to the hub of the campus and found myself in the building where the school of architecture is-and all the floors were accessed by open stairs and the ‘hallways’ were open air and so I began my chore there-it was still early and no one was around so I could go from floor to floor unmolested by the fear of bumping into another person,nearly.
It is crazy…we are just talking about one piece of paper! And sevearal times I did encounter a need to ask permission to use a bulletin board and my voice shaken I managed to stutter out something intelligent-I guess-because no one seemed to bite my head off and I was given the permission I wanted with out incident.
One has no idea of the energy it takes-to be in fear of a place full of people. And as I said the other day-I think too it takes more from me as I walk through these places surrounded by students and being taken back in time where this was once my hope-to go through school and go to a college somewhere. The emotion it draws out-going through the school of architecture-that was what I always thought I wanted to be when I was a kid….and seeing into the gallery there the different models of minuature apartment complexes and high rise office buildings,and walking by all these examples of what my life might have been like-it makes me feel like crying.
I’m going to tell you something…..I keep having back yard psyhcologists telling me I need to get on with my life and get over the past-I had a born again Christian visit me the other day who kept telling me God forgave and forgot my past so I needed to please God and forget it too….after all,the question was offered-if I follow God with such faith I should be able to overcome it or it may be possible my faith is not at all.
I’m sorry-from the moment the rape onward I have not been able to forget!

flyer therapy-amended

February 1, 2007

survivors art hand-bill

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Earlier this morning I wrote about the upcoming Survivors Art Exhibit-and I was mistaken in my writing that the exhibit is sponsered by the national foundation-Survivors Art Foundation,and I apologize for that error and would like to now thank the Gainesville (Florida) Commision on the Status of Woman,Inc. and is also co-sponsered by the University of Florida Counseling Center. I really do hope I have not ofeended any one by my error.
I think this also important to say-most of the time I do my writing before daylight each morning.
I was really on top of things as I wrote about the therapy of this-posting these notices for the exhibit…but as my morning progressed I became anxious-and so stressed by the time I reached my first planned destination to post one of these flyers and the events of my post traumatic stress disorder returned and I felt locked into my seat in my vehicle-my hands unable to open the door….my throat felt as if some one was squeezeing it-chokeing me. I left that place drove away and tried to go to the community college and could not make the turns and then my mind said try the area up in town where some of the artist community might see the flyers…and I drove around the block and then made the block bigger until I was out of that area again. I did manage to stop at a place here called ‘The Corner Drugstore’ which is an age old mental health clinic here in the city-I entered and there were people and that made it worse but Imanaged to stammer out something that might have been understood-because they took a flyer and said they would put it up.
I believe I felt alright about doing this yesterday because I had been in the VA and did my routine walk around and as always crossed over to the medical center through the tunnel to roam that building too-to get comfortable….and I did not get to do that this morning,instead wrote about how this was going to be me winning a battle….and I lost!
I even was afraid to go into the laundry-matt where I wash my things usually,I was to shaken by then and felt ill. I drove around the entire city-in fear…my chest feeling compressed and the squeezeing on my throat continued until I had to give it up and come home and crawl into bed and there I feel into a state of exhaustion.
Tomorrow-Feburary 1….I am getting up at 0500 and getting out of here to do the VA and Med-center adjustment ‘tour’ and hike the campus and finish the task there.
I promise myself this!