Friday, 14 May 2010

Pipeliners and Gypsies

My Dad was a Jack of All Trades. When I was tiny my Dad was a Pipeliner. He was a foreman. My Mom was my Mom, and the best Mom that ever lived. Dad's crew dug the giant trenches for the pipe. The pipe was taller than my Father by quite a bit, and he was 6 foot tall. My Dad could drive tractors as big as a house, and move vast amounts of earth. The Pipeline went for miles and miles. I have pictures. Looking like a long earthworm, twisting through deserts, and mountains, and plains the pipeline moved us on. We progressed with it, changing towns every few months.
Because my Dad was a foreman, he selected his crew. As a result he hired Family. And those that were not actual Family became Family. We were with these people all the time. We went from town to town with them, and we watched lives unfold.
Usually we lived in little apartment/hotel places. When we lived in Reno, Nevada my parents and I slept in the same room. One night, after a hard day of play I flopped into bed. Out of nowhere came a pain. A pain like I had never (in my little life) felt before. It was in my leg, my calf, or maybe it was my thigh? Nevertheless I screamed I was dying and my leg was killing me. My anxious parents galloped to my side, pulled back the covers, saw that my leg was drawing up, like a grasshopper's leg when the grasshopper is dead. My Mom calmly pulled my leg back, straight, causing severe pain, and said I had a Charley Horse, and laughed…Laughed.
Friendly sounding name isn't it? Charley, good old Charley, and Horse, Horse=Good. But not Charley Horse. I will always remember Reno.

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