Consecrative Excavation…….#6o (the 50’s)

A two seated depository

Gary couldn’t recall reading during the historic settling of the west any mention of what he and his dad were going to undertake but after giving it some thought, in all probability it may have been first on their agenda when erecting structures at a wilderness building site.  Pre-fabrication for the structure that would be transported by pickup began in the family backyard on Greenly Drive. The rather small building consisting of  three enclosing side, the fourth with a door,  a pitched roof,  four cement piers to anchor the floor 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 known as an Outhouse.

Gary’s dad – familiar surroundings

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.   Once on the road Gary’s Dad divulging  a detour was in order, they would go by Mountain Ranch which was about 20 miles out of their way to pickup Sterling (Pop) Graham,  his Dad’s closest 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 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis,  ALS,  better known as Lou Gehrig Disease.   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 first noticed he had difficulty swinging two bats in the batter’s 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

The amazing Lou Gehrig

Gary was no stranger to moving dirt, as a youngster in the past having dug a 4 ft. deep excavation covering it with a makeshift roof to use as a command post when playing army. In junior high he volunteered to turn the ground over for the family garden and more recently at their Sierra site, extricated the entrance to an abandon mine in hopes of  discovering gold.   This time the digging was somewhat different, not a youthful project but having a meaningful purpose. The earth was cooperating,  the real estate soil 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  removing the prefab structure from the pickup proceeding  with the assembly.   The structured edifice now 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 long-lasting look at his Father and Pop Graham sitting together,  concluding a cherished memory is a perpetual gift.

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