Thursday, January 8, 2015

Terra Firma

I'm probably guilty of overusing this phrase,
but it just makes so much sense to me.
"Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it."

The first time I heard the phrase, John Kerschbaum of Minnesota
was deftly using it during our row down the Hudson River.
I grew up in a Boy Scout troop, where you carried everything on your back.
If you didn't think you'd need didn't put it in your back back.
John grew up canoeing, and so his logic allowed a bit more cargo.

Since that day in 2007, I've adopted this philosophy.
And this is why I showed up tonight, for a gondola load-out,
with just about everything you could possibly need to get the job done.

Let's see, my truck contained:
four sheets of plywood,
about 30 square feet of cardboard,
various carpet scraps,
nine cinderblocks,
a pair of plastic pipes - fit for rolling a boat,
and a corrugated steel sign that was bigger than a queen-sized bed.

Yes, I am ridiculous.

We had a flatbed tow truck and a hoisting wrecker truck.

Perhaps the ultimate contingency plan was the crew of gondoliers who were on hand to lift, carry, and run for whatever needed to be, um, ran for.

Yes. Overkill was the theme of the evening.
And yet, when all was said and done,
the crew of gondoliers was ultimately helpful.
There were so many times that something needed to be picked up
and moved from here to there, so many times that a bunch of people
needed to grab one end of the gondola and lift it so something
could be put in place beneath it.

I didn't use those dang cinderblocks.
The plastic pipes never left the back of the truck.
Cardboard? Carpet scraps? didn't end up needing them
(although I'm sure that if I hadn't brought them,
I would have needed them - Murphy's Law).

A lot of the action revolved around the heavy equipment provided
by Southside Towing.  The guys in charge of those rigs represented their company well, and thanks to them, the gondola made it safely to the ground without any "Humpty Dumpty" nonsense.

Once the gondola was on terra firma, my gondoliers took over - moving her into the right spot in the yard, pulling parecio out, and handing it back to me as we put the big "gondola puzzle" back together.

At the beginning of the day, I threw all kinds of things into my truck.
And while some of those items were handy, what mattered most this evening, was the team of gondoliers who knew how to handle a Venetian boat as she arrived here.

For the next few weeks, those guys and I will work to prepare her for Valentine's Day, and much more.

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