Helicopter Sling-Loading, Static Discharge

Helicopter Sling-Loading, Static Discharge

What a crazy past few days. First, we learned the company that was helping redo our website, PhotoMeetUps.com, changed there mind—sucks after spending literally almost three months working with them. It comes to one of those things, you’re not happy unless you do it yourself. Too many people think, oh, you’re a photographer of beautiful women, what a cool and easy job?

NOT. While I have a Bachelors Degree in Communications, summa cum laude, I also come from the school of hard knocks. Sure, I’ve been shooting since I was nine years-old, obviously not professionally, but I’ve got a history of other things I’ve done in my life too—how else do you think I got here?

First, I started mowing lawns like most young boys in South Texas, oh, about the age of nine. Second, I started washing cars, by hand, about 300 on a Saturday, on weekends by the time I was thirteen. I would also spend every summer, for a few summers while I was in Junior High, with my grandparents down in South Texas, on the ranch. I’d help my grandpa with the cattle, putting salt blocks, checking fences, and because he was almost blind, I’d drive the 1958 Ford pick-up truck, yep, sitting on a pillow shifting gears on the column. I’d also help out at his general store and Texaco gas station.

While I graduated from High School when I was seventeen, the two years before and a year after, I worked for the local Caterpillar dealership, B.D. Holt. There I would rebuild turbo chargers, water pumps, engines and work on motograders, bulldozers, bucket loaders, forklifts and any type of heavy machinery you can think of. Heck, when a CAT 379, 398, or 399 engine came in (V-8, V-12, V-16 prospectively) from the oil patch, we’d work around the clock to get those engines overhauled as the drilling rig Tool Pusher, they can’t wait when they’re in the hole. Sometimes we’d go out in the field, check the engine, then the Tool Pusher would hot-shot it in, there we’d get work, around the clock, like a pit crew, except it was usually two of us.

Zip, zip, zip would go the air guns, tossing oily bolts, nuts, washers into parts bins. We’d order parts, get the machine shop to bore the crankcase, soak it in a vat, have the crankshaft turned, heads rebuild, etc., until we’d get that “six and a quarter bore” engine running again. That was a site too, standing on top the engine controlling the throttle while someone hit the air starter and two others stood on side of the turbo intakes with thick, heavy steel plates to cut the air off if that diesel decided to “run away.” Thank goodness we never had that happen as these engines are the size of a Chevy Suburban.

Now, those were fun days. Made a lot of money, just a senior in High School. Mom would call in sick for me so I could work the oil patch, still made straight A’s though. Graduated in the top 10-percent of my class, not bad out of 600 plus seniors.

Well I have to get back to this server as I’m working on the new site, next “Life” blog will probably be about my U.S. Army days where we got shot at in Haiti, faced 140-degree heat in the Sinai Desert, or perhaps even the days we work on engines for M-88 recovery vehicles, which were basically tanks without a turret—about 57 tons of cold steel. Thanks, and no, I’d rather being doing photography than working on servers, thanks, rg sends!

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