We did this kind of drywall 16-17 years ago. My first Saturday of summer vacation after my freshman year of college was spent in a factory like this. My dad would have loved to do it again and I want to tell him about it. But he is not here.
I also realized how middle class I am. I would venture a guess that the top laboring earners at this factory max out at maybe $15 an hour. I make almost three times that and I complain about not making enough. Do I have a grateful bone in my body?
The photo on the left is from Friday this past week. The photo on the right is from 7 years ago, yesterday. It was this past week, seven years ago, that I got busy drywalling (then picking up painting along the way) on my own and have hardly slowed down since. I grew up hating drywall and I despised my Dad for making me go with him in the summers instead of letting me swim and play whiffle ball. I foolishly chose a major with no real future and when that house of cards finally collapsed, I was left with what I knew and always was capable of: construction work. By the winter of 2009, I had been [back] in Philadelphia for about 8 months. I couldn’t get any consistent photography work & was just getting by. A guy from church had just bought a house two blocks from my little 10th street apartment and asked me if I could drywall his master bedroom. I was so eager to work that I couldn’t say no and the job was incredibly gratifying. I still took photography assignments from time to time but the more busy I got with drywall & painting, the more I resented any phone calls about photography because the assignments broke up my schedule and made completing jobs on time difficult.
So, for 7 years that has been my work. It paid for my incredibly expensive PNE surgery. It paid for our wedding & honeymoon! And it pays well enough that my wife is lucky enough to stay home with our precious little Callie. There are days when I piss & moan about the difficulty of a specific job, but I would do well to be grateful instead. The economic situation is not well in many parts of the country and if it wasn’t so healthy here, I don’t know where i’d be.
Give thanks to God in all things; the great an the terrible. Our salvation depends on it.
: A saying from the Holy Mountain. Blessed Lent.