Consecrative Excavation…….#61 (the 50’s)


A two seated depository

A two seated depository

       Throughout his short life span,  Gary has moved dirt, turning ground for the family garden,  digging a 4 ft. deep area covering it with a make shift roof, the excavation becoming a fort to play in and extricating the entrance to an abandon mine in hopes of  discovering deposits of gold.   This digging on the Willson’s recently acquired Sierra Mountain land was different, not a youthful project but having a meaningful purpose.  A ground breaking for the erection of a structure, one that most city populist who sojourned to this Sierra Nevada domain  would consider indispensable,  its purpose to be as essential as food and water,  especially if you enduring a prolonged continuance.   In his historical readings about the early settlements in the western states, Gary couldn’t recall it being mentioned and after giving it some thought, in all probability may have been the first structures erected at a wilderness building site.    Pre-fabrication  for this structure  began in the family backyard on Greenly Drive, the building consisting of  three enclosing side, the fourth with a door,  a pitched roof,  four cement piers to anchor the floor and joist and inside a fixed bench constructed at sitting height, the sitting bench featuring two circular holes cover by toilet seats,  a simple but functional  design.

Dad at Pop's cabin at Mountain Ranch

Dad at Pop’s cabin at Mountain Ranch

      Gary and his Dad loading the disassembled structure  in the bed of the families 41 Chevy pickup, starting on the  2 1/2 hour easterly excursion to the Sierra’s.   Gary’s Dad divulging  a detour was in order,  they would journey to the community of Mountain Ranch to pickup Sterling (Pop) Graham,  his Dad’s closes friend.   Gary having been made aware that Pop was no longer working, not able to navigate his Interbay Lumber Co.  authoritative Ten-Wheeler.   His Dad’s friend was amiss with a debilitating illness identified as Lou Gehrig Disease,  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,  ALS.   The Youth’s Father having disclosed Pops first indication was an inability to muster the  strength to properly turn the non-power assisted steering wheel on the big rig.  Gary aware of the iconic Lou Gehrig, the New York Yankee Hall of Fame player nicknamed the Iron Horse, playing in 2130 consecutive games with a lifetime batting average of 340 and dying at the age of 36.    The scene from the Lou Gehrig motion picture, Pride of the Yankee’s being brought to mind,  when Gehrig discovered he had difficulty swinging two bats in the batters circle before stepping up to the plate.  He also remembers shedding a tear at the conclusion.

Gary Cooper playing Lou Gehrig "The Pride of the Yankee's" with the real life Babe Ruth

Gary Cooper playing Lou Gehrig “The Pride of the Yankee’s” with the real life Babe Ruth

The amazing Lou Gehrig

The amazing Lou Gehrig

      The earth was cooperating,  the real estate was in transit as the shovel lifted the terra firma from the deepening cavity.   Gary continuing his labor,  his  Dad and the frail Sterling Graham sitting,  each with a bottle of beer in hand observing his progress.   There was no asperity performing this task,  satisfaction came from seeing his Father and Pop together,  advocates sharing this consecrating moment of a soon departing friendship.  The soil extrication completed,  the Teen and his Dad assembling the structured edifice, erecting it above the freshly turned small earthen crater.  once solidly affixed it stood as a monument,  the outhouse beckoning it services to those in a hasty need of  bodily disbursement relief.  
     The project completed, Gary taking a lasting look at his Father and Pop Graham sitting together,  concluding a cherished memory is a perpetual gift.


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