Author Topic: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"  (Read 5199 times)

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Offline Tinker

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Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« on: November 01, 2007, 09:40 PM »
In a couple of other recent discussions, things got a little heated.  Some felt the discussion to be somewhat off topic, too way off topic.
One responder, Eli, had removed his own comments to place in the off topic section.  I had made a comment or two of my own and eventually, I ?threatened? young Eli with the possibility of him having to suffer thru another one of my stories.  I felt the vehemence of some of the replies within the conversation warranted just this type of story.  This is a long one.  I do have a tendency to get a little long winded at times.  Tune out at any time.

I was, as many already know, a mason contractor for many, many moons.  I enjoyed what I did.  I would still be doing it if my tired old body could have stood up to the strain of heavy lifting and twisting with those heavy loads for so many years.  But it did not and I could not.  Along the way, tho, I managed to meet and enjoy many wonderful and enjoyable people.  I have many unhappy tales along the way that I rather not discuss; but the ones that provided enjoyment for me, and my family, will last forever.  This particular story is about the best side of my experiences.  An experience where I was able to provide something of value to a person I had never known, yet became friends because of his vision and my abilities to help him to realize his vision.  (I would like to add here that Matthew has had the same sort of vision with this FOG group.  He has provided the idea and the impetus and managed to sit back and enjoy the efforts of so many of us.)

I was sitting at the kitchen table, also my office desk and meeting center with the usual piles of paper work that has always been the consternation of my Dearly Beloved, when the phone rang.  Nothing unusual there.  The introduction from the man at the other end of the line meant nothing to me other than the possibility for another few days of work.  I was a two-man operation.  Usually, I was the two men.  At this time, I was rolling.  My nephew was my main employee of the moment.  He was a good worker, spoiled with wealth and perhaps an even better sales man than yours truly.  Above all, he was fun to work with and a good learner.  We did have a lot of fun together on the job.

?I?m Charlie Jones (Not his real name. He and his wife are both gone now, but I will continue to respect their privacy).  I understand you are an experienced stone mason.?  That was a pleasant approach.  I have had others say I was a ?stoned mason?.  Oh well, all good things must be taken in stride. 

As the conversation progressed, I realized I was talking with a man who was very emotional about his ideas.  This particular idea had to do with his dream of bringing the world just a little closer.  Neighbor to neighbor.  He wanted to build a cairn (I call it a pyramid) here in Connecticut, and one at a location on the exact opposite side of the world from Connecticut.  He asked if I knew where that would be.  My immediate reply was ?Australia?.  Close.  He told me it was a point just off the coast of Tazmainia . Maybe Eli knows something about Tazmainia, I do not.

He told me the town, but that has long since left my feeble powers for recollection.  Eventually, we arrived at a time to begin the project.  I did the work for nothing.  I just wanted Charlie to pay my helper and pay for cement, sand and concrete. (Was I a sucker for his enthusiasm???) The work was nothing spectacular in my own eyes, but Charlie was beside himself with excitement.  As work progressed, he asked all sorts of questions.  He told me of the various plaques he wanted to install if he could find somebody to cast them for him.  I explained how he could do them himself and what mix he should use to make concrete castings.  I think that was about the most exciting part of the whole job for him.  Within a few days, he had the castings all made and I was able to install them in timely manner as work progressed.

In building the four sided pyramid, I built a four sided base with the pyramid protruding from the flat base in such a way that people could sit on the base and lean back against the pyramid.  I don?t know how relaxing that could be, as the pyramid was right at one side of a fairway of the local golf club.  I would say no more than a hundred yards from the tee. FORE!!!

To keep my corners lined up, I imbedded a 3/4? iron pipe vertically from the exact center of the stone base.  I put a mark at the point and ran strings from the base of the actual pyramid to the mark at the top of the pipe.  When Charlie saw this, he was beside himself with joy.  ?do you realize your guide pipe is aiming directly at Tazmainia on the exact other side of the world?? I had not thought about that.  I was just happy that I was able to cut and lay my stones so the corners were lining up perfectly.  Well, as perfectly as rough field stone could be hammered and placed to appear somewhat organized.

Eventually, Charlie inquired if I would be interested in going to Tazmainia to build a duplicate, with a pipe aiming directly at the pyramid in Connecticut.  Charlie had this dream for everybody in the world to understand that we are all connected.  I could not argue his point, nor did I wish to pop his dream, but I had to say, ?Thanks for your faith, but no thanks.?  He then tried to talk my nephew into the idea, but he was to involved with too many girl friends around here.  He didn?t think he could handle a new batch way around the other side of the world.  Besides, it was winter ?down under?.  He liked the warm weather in New England.

Charlie is gone now.  Recently, I was approached by another group who wanted to know more about the ?Cairn? and what was written on those plaques.  The whole thing was built in 1976 and the printing has not stood up the ravages of time and climate.  I could not help them there, but my memories of Charlie and his total immersion and enthusiasm is embedded forever in my own memories.
g'd day, y'all
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Dan Clark

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2007, 10:39 PM »
Tinker,

I'm happy to "suffer" through one of your stories any time. ;D

G'day!

Dan.

Offline Jim Dailey

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2007, 11:01 PM »
Tinker,

Great story!!! 

Do you know if he ever built the "mate" to the one you constructed in Connecticut down under in Tasmania?

jim
Life is just a series of projects...

Offline Tinker

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2007, 03:22 AM »
I don't know. i stopped at his house to see him a few years later.  i had not known before I stopped by, but he was on his death bed awaiting his time.  He still had his enthusiasm and wonderful caring spirit.  He did ramble on somewhat about how he wished he had gotten Eric, my nephew, and I to go to Tasmania.  He was not too coherant and i did not press the issue.  When some people contacted me a month ago for information concerning the Cairn, I suggested they look for Charlie's son, who might have more info, especially updated info.  They did get back to me that the son had moved out of state and they were unable to contact him.

Of course, I could sneak down to the Golf Club some dark night, remove the top stone (cast concrete, we cheated on that part) and peek down thru that old pipe and see the exact point in Tazmainia.  ::)
Tinker (not to be mistooken for the Tazmainian Devil)
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Eli

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2007, 04:04 AM »
I think it's too far to see, but if you give a holler down the pipe I'll listen up for it.  :P

The island of Tasmania has the distinction of being shaped like an upside down pyramid or triangle itself. Australians take advantage of this unique shape in reference to the fairer sex when having a conversation where all is revealed, by asking their mates, "Didja see her mappa Tazzie?" ;D ;D ;D

Thanks for making good on the story Tink. Whenever you feel like it, let one rip. ( a story ::)  )
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Tinker

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 05:44 AM »
I think it's too far to see, but if you give a holler down the pipe I'll listen up for it.  :P

The island of Tasmania has the distinction of being shaped like an upside down pyramid or triangle itself. Australians take advantage of this unique shape in reference to the fairer sex when having a conversation where all is revealed, by asking their mates, "Didja see her mappa Tazzie?" ;D ;D ;D

Thanks for making good on the story Tink. Whenever you feel like it, let one rip. ( a story ::)  )

I'll try calling next time i pass by the golf club.
And thanks for the proper spelling.  I was sure Tasmania was not spelled with a Z.

thanks for the geography lesson. It is always good to have background (or should we, in this situation, say "foreground")when writing geographical stories
 ::)
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Eli

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 06:05 AM »
or in my case, underground....
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Tinker

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2007, 06:28 AM »
or outback
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline woodshopdemos

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007, 11:08 AM »
Tinker,
   Those are the kind of stories I never tire of...wonderful.
In memory of John Lucas (1937 - 2010)

Offline TheTassieBFG

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2007, 07:53 AM »
Greetings from the fair Isle of Tasmania (otherwise known as Tazzie/Tassie) now i know why I've always had this strange sense of being watched.. It's those people in Connecticut. Unfortunately i have to say I have not heard of any cairn being built to to that effect but I might just have to do a bit of digging to find out for sure

Off topic....(Yes Virginia there really is a Tasmanian Devil and he is nothing like the Velveteen rabbit he has jaws three times stronger than a lions and has been known to chew through empty pots if you don't clean up while you are camping.. Unfortunately they are under threat from a facial tumor..)

Offline Eli

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2007, 08:27 AM »
Welcome, welcome. It's a good feeling to know we're represented everywhere. You really have seen the mappa
Taz. :D
Do nothing, stay ahead.

Offline Tinker

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2007, 04:36 PM »
Greetings from the fair Isle of Tasmania (otherwise known as Tazzie/Tassie) now i know why I've always had this strange sense of being watched.. It's those people in Connecticut. Unfortunately i have to say I have not heard of any cairn being built to to that effect but I might just have to do a bit of digging to find out for sure

No problem Tassie,
Next time i'm near the cairn, I'll just lift the topstone and drop a plumb bob down thru that center pipe.  all you will have to do is get out your rowboat, canoe or whatever, paddle around just off shore until you see the bob sticking up out of the water.  the Tassie Cairn should be right close by at the nearest point of shoreline.

If you don't already have a boat of some kind, that could be your next festool project  ;D

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline TheTassieBFG

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Re: Way Off Topic:NE to "Down Under"
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2007, 02:36 AM »
Along with converting the fish tank stand for my sister
making myself a Wall unit/ buffet thingy
a few kaliadoscopes
a bed head
dressers
a kayak
making a guitar or two  etc etc etc