02 Aug Women in Construction
In 1977 or so I was invited by some friends to help rebuild a lodge in the mountains near the small town of Gold Hill, Colorado. Since I had nothing better to do and was wasting time and my mothers hard earned money screwing off in junior college in Tyler, Texas, I jumped at the chance. So off I went to live in an old abandoned ski cabin, with no water or electricity on an old abandoned ski run on what would become the turning point in my life.
My 1st job as grunt and sacrificial “helper” was to scale to the top of the structure and nail rafters in place. Sounds simple except for the part where you’re 40 feet in the air on a piece of wood that is less than 2″ wide, with a tool bag, tools, and your task is to actually swing the hammer and drive the nail into the wood (we didn’t have nail guns in those days) which you have no idea how to do. All the while, being yelled at by a short, bearded, ill tempered dude that’s still pissed off about just getting released from the US Navy and a little war in Vietnam and he was my roommate in the 2 man cabin. (Which had no electricity or running water by the way)
New to the concept of standing on narrow piece of wood 40 or so feet off the ground I was straddling the timber, willing to suffer the glare of the carpenters and the potential splinters that I would surely receive in my boney ass. While hanging on for dear life I hear a sound behind me, afraid to move a muscle for fear of what lies below, I very carefully look around to see a beautiful, muscular girl wearing a carpenters bags standing on the ridge looking at me smiling, ” What up scaredie cat, fraid your gonna fall?” The only falling I did was in love with her. Yes I learned to drive a nail from a woman!
Being the only male in a house full of women ( 6 to 1) gave me many advantages in my chosen career, most of all respect and love for the opposite sex. Witnessing my mother provide for 5 kids without a husband taught me the lessons that carried me through my life that haven’t allowed me to wallow in self pity or give up when life get tough. To this day I am blessed to have these lessons to lean on and learn from. The strength to dig a little deeper when the going gets tough and smile in the face evil. Thanks Mom!
“Women in Construction” podcast series is a tribute to the amazing changes that women have brought the trades. Innovation, foresight, business acumen, insight and much needed energy. Once an after thought in a male only world, women are becoming a dominant force. Not just designers and sales staff, they are contractors, business owners, roofers, trained in the trades. Women understand who the buyer is and what the buyer wants.
I’ve often said that I can tell when a man has designed a kitchen verses when a woman has designed a kitchen and most of the time that’s true.
Please listen to these podcasts and celebrate the contributions these ladies and all women make to this and all other facets of our world.