Zaphod might even get a kick out of this one (though I think he's mad at me)...
In order to transport the structural members from Utah we had to build these specialized semi-trailers. At the time we also manufactures much of the
frames for AutoCar trucks as a sideline so building trailers was something which was in our wheelhouse. Imagine trying to take an arch 30' high and
120' long down the highway. You couldn't carry them sideways because it was too wide, and you couldn't carry them upright because they were too tall.
So we had to carry them on an angle. Even then they were too tall to go under most bridges and still over-size (width). We had to map out every
bridge, and overhead line, find alternate routes, know where all the construction was, any narrow spots, and have a complete plan for each state we
had to cross...then pull all the necessary permits for each state.
We could only carry two beams at a time per truck and that was even overweight for most states (especially with frost laws), so one building would
require six separate loads.
And, in the case of Minot, because it was an active SAC base with live nukes at the time, we practically got killed one day when the end of one of the
steel beams apparently crossed over a line painted on the ground (there were lines painted all over the damn place). We were backing the truck up and
around into this really awkward location immediately adjacent to a ready hangar with interceptors. Next thing we all knew we were face down on the
pavement with M-16's shoved in the back of our heads and guys hollering at us! Then they drug us off, separated us in different holding areas and
interrogated each of us for a couple hours. I forget what color the line was (there were different colors for different things, but I think it was
blue or red...might have been some other color, don't recall). I'll just never forget this real stern AF Major coming up to me when they let us out
into this hallway. He got right up in my face like a freaking drill instructor, red faced and veins popping out of his forehead and
I know he was really serious and all, and it was a big deal, but it was all I
could do to keep from busting out laughing. It wasn't like any of us crossed the line personally. (Personally, I don't think anything crossed the
line really, close maybe but not across it, I think they were just all crazed from being stationed in Minot!)
(again, I don't remember the exact color, I just remember the orientation thing we had to go through where they pointed out all these different lines
and said this one means this, and that one means that, this one you need permission from this group, etc...and then there was the ..."this line you
NEVER cross, no matter what!")
The other funny thing I remember was when anyone new would come to the site, after their AF orientation the Supt. would put his arm around the guy and
nicely say..."C'mere, I want to show you something..."
. You'd look out the construction trailer window and he'd be out there for like 15 whole
minutes pointing at that line from a distance. He'd be waving his hands all over the place and then pointing at the line. He'd point one way, and
then another, then make these grand dramatic waving motions like the apocalypse. It was hilarious, I wish I had a tape of that!! Never did know
exactly what he told them.
edit on 3/29/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)