I quit school after a year of college and went to work for Mitchell Construction Company in Bloomington Indiana. I worked on a crew that poured concrete and my boss was called “Frenchie” for some reason. He was a good old boy who smoked Winstons, hunted quail and woke every night with a “piss hard on”. There were only three of us on this crew. The other guy, Wayne Anderson, was hired because the company, which had thirty or so employees, learned they could not win any Indiana University contracts unless they hired a black guy. Wayne had just gotten out of prison for involuntary manslaughter. He was parking in front of a bar in Indianapolis and he hit the car in front of him. That car crushed a guy who was standing in front of it. We became friends and spent most of our time wrestling.
One of Frenchies favorite sayings was, so and so is “dumber that a box of rocks””. That’s kind of unfair to rocks but I like the image. We have some old stone walls out back that have been swallowed up by the earth and we’re rebuilding them. This is some backbreaking work, trying about ten stones to fit one in each place. We started by pulling out all the old rocks and we made this big pile to pick through. Our neighbors say we should hire the Bosnians. They have some sort of reputation around here.