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A Long Time Ago...

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posted on Oct, 22 2016 @ 10:14 PM
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A long time ago, Dad and I went camping. I forget what the occasion was (there was usually something). We were pulling our Great Divide 22' trailer through the mountains of Wyoming.

At one point we stopped in the Hoback Canyon for lunch. Dad always carried a Buck 102 on his belt. It was exquisitely sharp. In fact, he sharpened that knife to the point of wearing it out. I always carried a Buck 110 (folder). I remember I even had my hiking boots on. I don't think we were going anywhere that remote really, maybe just Yellowstone (no biggie, for me, then). I remember Mom wasn't there; we were meeting her somewhere.

Dad always loved his sammiches. He just loved a good sammich. He'd buy nice salami and always a tomato or two. Always the best bread. I think he enjoyed the prep of a sammich almost as much as eating it. He got that old worn Buck 102 out and started slicing those tomatoes down. It was sharp. He cut the hard salami down into wafer thin slices, and asked what sandwich I would like. (well, the choice was pretty obvious). I never really even liked hard salami that much, but it was okay.

Dad passed away in 2014 (the morning of his 90th birthday). In a drawer Mom was cleaning out, she said "here's a knife Dad wanted you to have". It was that same old sharpened down Buck 102. He'd sharpened that knife so many times it was literally worn down to nearly nothing. But there was more, there was another Buck 102. It had a yellow post-it note on the leather sheath which said "new". It was one of the last Buck 102's ever made with the leather sheaths, and I'd bought it for him many years before. I'd hoped he'd retire that old 102 he had. All those years he kept that knife "new". Why, I don't know, maybe just waiting for that right moment to use it once again in Hoback Canyon slicing tomatoes and salami to make one of his favorite 'sammiches'.

I have a couple other Buck 102 Woodsman knives just like it, leather sheath and all. For the life of me I cannot bring myself to strap one on my belt. I just can't. And, that old Buck knife, the one sharpened down to nothing...it's legend. Sometimes I just take it out and admire it...for what it represents.

Gawd, I miss that guy!




posted on Oct, 22 2016 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Thank you for sharing a little slice of your life, I really enjoyed it. I imagine you do miss your dad, but it sounds like you both enjoyed each others company. Thanks again for sharing.



posted on Oct, 22 2016 @ 11:47 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

You have some awesome memories of your Dad. Thanks for sharing those


I miss my Dad too, he was Brilliant. I wish we'd spent more time talking about what matters.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 12:55 AM
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a reply to: Encryptor

It's strange really, Dad and I never really talked that much. It was this strange relationship. It's why I remember things like the "sammiches". It was always just..."This is the way it is". The "old man" was just very matter of fact that way. He was a tough guy. The only time I ever saw any "fun" in him was those moments. The rest of the time he was all "business". It's why I remember the knife the way I do.

I started out as a layout engineer, eventually becoming a senior layout engineer for one of the largest engineering firms in north America, but that wasn't good enough. I did layout on high steel (30 floors up), plumbing and racking steel...it was dangerous beyond imagination (especially when it rained or snowed...the steel got slick). I was a lead draftsman for Bechtel Corporation, drawing and inking comprehensive isometric diagrams of Biblically complex piping in chemical plants...and in order to do it, I had to go (climb) up into the racking (25 floors up) to see it...again, not good enough.

I drove a damn truck for Dad even for a while. I hauled heavy equipment (dozers and the like). He didn't like me working all the dangerous stuff...but I still couldn't so anything right. I could tell stories about hauling major oversized and overweight loads over the "three sisters" in Wyoming. (Anyone who's ever driven over them will know). Heavy gear over those grades is the ultimate test for a "Truck". 3,000 feet from the bottom (elevation) with brake pressure below 100 psi, will have your heart rate in the 200's!!! With a permitted 90,000 pound D-8 dozer behind you. (less than 100psi is equal to no brakes) But...it still wasn't good enough!!!!

It was never good enough.

One day, I decided to break with what ever it was Dad wanted. I'd grown, and I'd traveled the World. I had more stamps in my passport than it could hold, and had to have inserts put into it by the various Embassies.

But it still wasn't good enough.

Then my wife and I bought the ranch and got a bunch of cows (and some bulls). Dad was speechless then. Yes, it's been hard, but we love it. The last time he visited before he passed, all he could say was how "cold" he was.

I point this out because it is significant. Dad and I had spent the past 30 years in Wyoming, under the coldest situations imaginable (-35 to -50F). He was never cold (and neither was I), but suddenly...he was cold. Together we had braved some of the most miserable conditions known to mankind. But the particular night, on my couch, inside the house....the old man was 'cold'. It was only about 35F outside and we had the heat on.

I covered Dad up in down jackets. Some of those jackets had been on Lost Eagle Peak in the Wind Rivers.

I just remember he said he was so cold (and I felt so bad). He was in is mid 80's then. I remembered the days when it was so freaking cold we used to joke about pissing on a guys hand to unfreeze it from a toolbox. Seriously, unless you've ever seen cold like this you will never understand. (So cold engine blocks break when starting, so cold that vinyl seats split when you jump inside,

I live in Colorado now, and even with the cows I seldom ever see cold like I saw back then. Wyoming is a cold place. It's where I grew up. ...but it was never good enough.

In the wind (and the wind never let up from Feb to late March), it took the toughest people on Earth to work the energy industry, because no one else on the planet wanted to be there. It was a miserable place. No matter how cold. No matter how miserable.

It didn't matter...it still wasn't good enough.

Despite all the frostbite, the cold, the never-ending wind...it still wasn't good enough.

To this day I have the scars to prove the stories I tell. We still work the cold, but not THAT cold. We'll often see temps below zero, and have to shelter the animals.

But now I walk out in -20F temps and record fun videos. The wife says I'm crazy. They don't last long.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 01:52 AM
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Damn, I can remember putting on a set of Carhartt bibs (Arctic) and going out to start the truck. It would turn over once or twice, and then the battery would start clicking. They were just so cold, you couldn't turn them over. Most nights, we'd have to run our diesel trucks all night long. (and even then they'd gel up).

Man, most people have never seen cold like this stuff. We had to drive 100-150 miles to a jobsite. We'd actually run our trucks down in fuel just so we could go buy warm fuel off the pump.

On the interstate, we'd be running in packs (4-5 trucks). You'd see a guy going up through the gears (i.e. black smoke), and they'd have 80-90 thousand on....and suddenly start blowing white smoke. Then blue smoke.

The rule was to keep going. It was so freaking cold, if you started blowing white smoke it was all over,...pull aside and let everyone else by. And we were pulling 40 tons of cement. Just pull over and get off the road. We called it a "flame out", the temps were -35F or lower.. Our job was to get the cement on the site as fast as possible. Wreckers would come behind us and pick up the straglers. Most times they'd drag the trailers onto a rig and let them dump the cement. Casing a deep well takes unimaginable amounts of cement, A 35,000 well takes 50 truckloads of cement to case. Wyoming gas wells were very deep, some of the deepest in the world.

And it was cold. VERY COLD!!!

We'd show up and they'd be running nine and five/eighths casing down the well at a 500 fpm. These guys were fast. They were Parker Brother rigs. When we'd be backing in, the Hallliburton frac guys would also be backing in. We'd pump the cement down the well and the frac trucks would hook up to it (they'd be 35 trucks wide, pump trucks), and they'd have another 35 mud trucks. These guys showed up in FORCE!!!!

We'd dump 80 tons of cement in 20 minutes...these guys would pump 60,000 tons of mud in 60 seconds!! I've seen the ground fractured at 15 miles...(yes FIFTEEN MILES)). The big TUBOSCOPE and CASE, thumper trucks are already out in the field. All the dynamite charges are all placed (yes, "dynamite"). They've dug the holes.....and when they fracture, they set off the charges. It's an amazing process really.



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 02:31 AM
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I've seen the safety regs for these set ups. Pump truck connections have in excess of 50,000 psi pressure, truck to truck.

These trucks have gigantic Caterpillar V--12 engines. Massive, several thousand horsepower, engines. They link 7-8 of these trucks together. In the background there are maybe 30 "slurry" (mud) trucks. Then the ground rumbles.

After the "perforate" the well, then they bring in the slammers to "frac" it.

People sometimes wonder why well heads are so big and ugly. If anyone has ever seen a "work-over" rig they would understand.. And when the big fracing outfits come in, the triple tree is a (thing which keeps people safe)..



posted on Oct, 23 2016 @ 02:45 AM
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I've seen some of the worst of the worst. It's sad, but I have.

I wish I could say better. I've had to walk among the dead. It's sad to see how "cheap" life is in some places.

And when you see it, it hurts kind of. Life seems so meaningless. People just walk away..

One day I saw a human being slammed down, chewed up and thrown into pieces onto the freeway by a dump-truck.

It was horrific!

But I would see it again, and again...and again. It was sad actually: they would just throw paper over them, dead, on the side of the road. Life meant nothing. Nothing at all.

People have no idea, these things. And you just drive by.



posted on Oct, 25 2016 @ 12:59 AM
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originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
A long time ago, Dad and I went camping. I forget what the occasion was (there was usually something). We were pulling our Great Divide 22' trailer through the mountains of Wyoming.

At one point we stopped in the Hoback Canyon for lunch. Dad always carried a Buck 102 on his belt. It was exquisitely sharp. In fact, he sharpened that knife to the point of wearing it out. I always carried a Buck 110 (folder). I remember I even had my hiking boots on. I don't think we were going anywhere that remote really, maybe just Yellowstone (no biggie, for me, then). I remember Mom wasn't there; we were meeting her somewhere.

Dad always loved his sammiches. He just loved a good sammich. He'd buy nice salami and always a tomato or two. Always the best bread. I think he enjoyed the prep of a sammich almost as much as eating it. He got that old worn Buck 102 out and started slicing those tomatoes down. It was sharp. He cut the hard salami down into wafer thin slices, and asked what sandwich I would like. (well, the choice was pretty obvious). I never really even liked hard salami that much, but it was okay.

Dad passed away in 2014 (the morning of his 90th birthday). In a drawer Mom was cleaning out, she said "here's a knife Dad wanted you to have". It was that same old sharpened down Buck 102. He'd sharpened that knife so many times it was literally worn down to nearly nothing. But there was more, there was another Buck 102. It had a yellow post-it note on the leather sheath which said "new". It was one of the last Buck 102's ever made with the leather sheaths, and I'd bought it for him many years before. I'd hoped he'd retire that old 102 he had. All those years he kept that knife "new". Why, I don't know, maybe just waiting for that right moment to use it once again in Hoback Canyon slicing tomatoes and salami to make one of his favorite 'sammiches'.

I have a couple other Buck 102 Woodsman knives just like it, leather sheath and all. For the life of me I cannot bring myself to strap one on my belt. I just can't. And, that old Buck knife, the one sharpened down to nothing...it's legend. Sometimes I just take it out and admire it...for what it represents.

Gawd, I miss that guy!



That's really heart touching.. Memories are something which is really wonderful..You have a great dad..



posted on Oct, 26 2016 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I know cold. It is the reason I moved out of Alaska and headed to Arizona. When you face over a week of the warmest temperature of -42 °F and night time temps of -70 you get kind of PO'd. So off to the other extreme I went to get some warmth back in my bones.

 


As to your OP...

A long, dark tea time of the soul, huh? Yeah, the parental acknowledgement is nice to have but hey, it is family. It is one of those things that does not have to be said. Me, I lost my mom early on. My dad was more interested in drinking than raising a family so I ended up in the "head of the household" position. Happens in families of alcoholics. Not much love there. Not much love lost in not talking for over ten years to the guy either. I do not think I ever got an "I love you" after the age of six from him. The last hug I got was graduating college and I think that was mostly for, "now get the heck out," as in "good bye." So I believe it is unsaid. Otherwise I would still be the angry, self-destructive young man of my twenties and a lousy bast_d to be around.

We all deal with it in one way or another. I think that your buck knife is a testament to the value of the life's little memories that go into making us who we are. It meant something to him and it also means something to you. It meant enough to you for the share here.

I hope today finds you in a less pensive mood.




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