Passing A Torch
As we go through the construction process, we are enjoying getting to know Luis and Brandon, the guys whose hard work is making the project move along. We have known Luis for a few years, as he has worked on other projects with us, but Brandon is younger and new to us. Both guys work hard from early morning to late afternoon - they put our more leisurely schedules to shame.
Luis is a single Dad, so he works through lunch each day in order to be home when his three children get home from school. That's Luis above with his crowbar, taking apart our master bathroom. He's the guy in charge.
Brandon, on the other hand, does take a break at lunch and he is one of the few workers we have had in the house who has a true appreciation for the beautiful situation of the house. He pulls over a deck chair at noon, props his feet up on his cooler, and eats his lunch while enjoying the view. We are tickled by his enthusiasm for our neighborhood.
Ron is our contractor, for whom these guys work - we've known him through three previous projects, since the time he worked for a builder named Alex when Ron was learning the ropes of the construction business. Now, Ron has his own thriving business. We have great faith in him and we actually delay our projects until he has time to work with us.
This noon at lunch, we sat in the living room and listened to Luis working away on the bath while Brandon enjoyed his break, and we were struck by the continuity of these guys and their skills. From Alex, who taught Ron, from Ron who taught Luis, and now from Luis, who is teaching Brandon, come building skills, passing from one man to the next through the past 20 or 25 years. This model of apprenticeship is clearly an important one in this profession; the daily watching and seeing how seemingly impossible things are accomplished and the cumulative learning of skills and strategies.
We can imagine that there will be a day when Luis starts his own business, as will Brandon one day. There is a rather beautiful passing of the torch of skill and opportunity going on here before our very eyes.