Still on the Job

A man who fills in when a contractor misses a delivery seems sent from heaven above.

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- Posted on Dec 15, 2011

A brick layer plies his trade

It had been one year, almost to the day, since my dad passed away. He was 72 years old, a former marine, a tough guy, but as kindhearted as they come.

Dad was a bricklayer by trade, and he was dedicated. When he built something, he built it right, taking care of every last detail. I began working with him in junior high, eventually becoming his partner, and later, his boss—even though it was in title only.

So I suppose it was fitting that a year after his death, on a rainy February morning, I was preparing to do the work Dad had taught me, helping my friend Rick build a huge patio onto his new home.

The two of us were waiting for block and mortar supplies scheduled to be delivered just after noon. “Want to grab lunch real quick?” Rick asked. I looked at my watch. Nearly eleven.

We needed to be on site when the delivery arrived so we could oversee placement of the materials. Otherwise, we’d be breaking our backs if we had to move everything around ourselves through the mud.

“Well, I guess we have some time,” I said.

Turned out we didn’t. We hurried back, but the supplies were already there. Probably all in the wrong place, I worried. Instead we found the blocks exactly where we wanted them. Even the sand and mortar mix were in the most convenient spots.

Grateful, we called up the delivery company. “Don’t thank me,” the deliveryman said. “An older gentleman told me what to do.”

“Older gentleman?” I asked, puzzled.

“A tough old guy, built like a marine,” the man said. He proceeded to describe my father, down to the last detail.

 

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