There are only a few technical terms needed to understand this blog post in its entirety. They are as follows:
Banker: A sturdy wood table made from thick beams, built to withstand years of abuse. They're rectangles 4' high, made for stonemasonry, specifically the hammer/chisel/rock interface.
Mini Track Loader: An MTC is a glorified hand truck, and is really tight. Imagine a Bobcat type loader, but take out the cockpit and replace the wheels with treads. the controls are on the back, so in order to operate it, one must walk behind the machine. Different attachments are available, including a bucket and forks.
To Library: Verb the noun. Librarying in stoneworking is crucial to efficient wall building. When a new pallet of stone comes in, it needs to be arranged so that the largest/best side of each piece is facing up, so that a libraried pile is similar to a slumping pile of books.
I have a few coworkers.
Rick is a guy who smokes his cigarettes in segments, stubbing them out three or four times before finally getting down to filter. He leaves them burning on a stone while he leans into his banker and chisels dark flakes out of rock. He is a self-proclaimed "Phish Head". Rick also nearly always brings a lunch.
Chuck is a Scotsman, and was born Charles Creary III, but now just goes by Chuck. He likes conversation and sports and the citizens of Vermont. Chuck rarely brings lunch.
Sean (or Shawn) is one of the kindest people I've ever met. He favors the adjective "wonderful" and does a lot of thanking, which is nice. Sean (or Shawn) wears wire-rimmed glasses with big plastic guards on the sides, like mountaineers wear. He can go from full-on cement-breaking mode to saving a forlorn worm in seconds.
Ron I'm not so familiar with, as he drops in and out of the site. Ron operates the machinery (backhoe, mini track loader, all manner of pickup trucks) and thinks that sub shops which don't offer hot sandwiches are committing some kind of heresy.
Pete, the man who started the business, could break me in half. I've seen him throw rocks under whose weight I've staggered. He doesn't really take shit from anyone, generally speaking. He likes punctuality, A Tribe Called Quest, and eye protection. He believes unpaid internships are holy to some degree.
Both Chuck and Rick have long twisting dreadlocks which fade from light brown to sandy blond, and get tied up or stuffed into a hat or hidden under a hood. Everyone was born and raised on the East coast, Sean (or Shawn) and Ron are from Pensylvania, while Rick, Chuck, and Pete are all from Vermont.
Yesterday Pete received an email from Joan Piper, checking in about Senior Projects. I was librarying at the time, and as I walked back to the pallet, Pete let me know about the email.
"Would it be funny to say, like, 'Who's Will?'?" He asked. I thought about it for a few seconds.
I think it was funnier for us than it was for Joan.