After leaving the Neighborhood I grew up in back in NYC in ’83 I found myself getting divorced from my 1st wife in SLC, UT.
My brother Mike, our friend Harlan, (who would later teach me to climb poles and travel together with me for years) and I were all living together. We were all getting divorced.
You shoulda heard some of the “Hate Women Campaigns” that went on after a few bottles of Jack and a couple cases of Bud…!!!
One day Harlan woke me up at like 5am on a Sunday. This was no easy task back then.
He came down a pole at about noon and said: “Cool. $400.00 by lunch.” I almost fell over.
“I wanna do THIS” I yelled at him. Two days later he threw an old rusty pair of Buckingham hooks at me and pointed at a pole across the street.
Later he looked at me and said I was a natural.
We would go on to spend the better part of the next 10 years on the road together.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Here’s to ya Harlan…!!!
The work suited me and my wanderlust. C’mon something like climbing telephone poles and making a grand a week was just what I needed. Besides, the CATV Industry was the only industry that would have me.
And they “Got It”… These people understood what it was like to wake up one morning and have this insatiable desire to lay some miles down.
And they never asked me to cut my hair!
Ok, so here I am; 25, newly divorced, pocket full of $$$, a good job and the whole USA in front of me. Life was GOOD..!! This was gonna be a blast….!!!
I’d really dug it. I loved the comradery that all the guys shared.
You’ve got my back, and I’ve got yours.
No matter what. At work, in a bar… “You’re broke..?? No worries.. I’ve got money.” I’m broke..?? “Thanx for the $100.00, cheeseburger and beer…. See me on payday….”
Whatever. Everyone looked out for everyone.
Just like it used to be back in the Neighborhood.
I love the road-trips, too….
This industry has gotten me all over the place. I’ve been to 45 of the 48 contiginous states. I also turned down Alaska and Hawaii in the same year.
Yeah, I know… Most people woulda gone, but it was winter….. that does away with climbing in Alaska… and I’m not an ocean person. So Hawaii didn’t mean anything to me….
When you’re on Cable jobs, everyone is from “Somewhere Else”. No one is from the town you’re working in at the time. So, ya hang out together… Bar-B-Ques, Bars, whatever….
The routine when ya get to a new town is:
1 – Find the Motel, (The one with all the Cable TV Construction vehicles in the parking lot)
2 – Find the Company shop, (The one with all the Cable TV Construction vehicles in the parking lot)
3 – Find the bank, (The one with all the Cable TV Construction vehicles in the parking lot)
4 – Find the Gin-Mill. (The one with all the Cable TV Construction vehicles in the parking lot)
After that, it’s all the same…. Climb, drink, chase skirts, sleep.
Sometimes there are other activities that kinda break up the monotony. I’ll let you figure out what they may be.
While I do really miss being a Hook, the work, the money, the road-trips, the comradery, something happened a while back that I wasn’t ready for.
More to come…..