Friday, August 13, 2004
O2: Story One - "Construction Site"
When we moved to West Columbia in the late-70s, the neighborhood was still growing. Houses were being built along a few of the streets in the back, perfect places for young adventurous boys to wreak havoc. We were never destructive, just taking time in the evening after construction crews left to climb up into the dwelling shells to see what had been done, see how the place was coming along, see if we could climb up into the rafters and attics and such.
One time, we climbed into a nice vaulted-ceiling designed home. Over to the right, above the garage, was what looked like a future storage space. There were no ladders or stairs heading to that area, but the studs and boards in place were sufficient climbing steps for the three of us. Jimmy, Grant and I climbed up over the garage, not realizing that the higher you climb into a house being built in the summer, the hotter and toastier it became for the altitude. It was hot, so we lay back to catch our breaths before rolling over on our stomachs to survey the site from that lofty perch.
A car pulled up. I don't know if we heard the engine or the car door first, but we jumped and scrambled and held our breaths when we realized people were coming. We were as quiet as we could be, which to me wasn't very quiet at all. But the folks didn't take note of three teenagers laying down in their under-construction home. It looked like it was the realtor or the contractor, explaining to the home-owner or potential buyer what was being done, what was left to do, what it would look like in the end. They walked all through the single level structure - probably only fifteen minutes, but it of course felt like forever.
When they left, we could breathe again. I don't know if we actually held our breaths that long, but it was pretty intense up there. And we were soaking sweaty from being nervous and it being so humid and warm in that attic crawlspace. Grant and I climbed down as quickly and as quietly as we could, making sure the car was gone before walking back out into the open area of what would be a dining or den area. But Jimmy didn't follow us. He was a big guy then (still a fairly big guy now, 25 years later), and he was scared to come down. It wasn't an easy drop, but it wasn't that bad. But he wouldn't budge. He started whimpering, calling for someone to help. If I remember correctly, we went to get my Dad to help Jimmy come down. That's what your friend's father is for - saving your life while trespassing.
I don't think we climbed in another construction area after that.