Tuesday, March 16, 2010


My mom has come up with a title for the narrative my life has become: The Reality of Living the Dream. I don't remember exactly after which adventure, or rather misadventure, that gem occurred to her. Might have been when the car was on house arrest for a month. Or was it after the water tube chopping incident? No, now I remember, it was after I told her about duct taping the sewage tube (which we had to do again yesterday, by the way).

So it is in this vein, the reality of the dream, I bring you the rest of the new bridge chapter.

That's a photo of the happy workers. Ok, not really.

I'd like to tell you about a wonderful day in which all of us neighbors got together to pitch in to make our little community better. I'd like to show photos of all the women in the kitchen making a big lunch spread that we shared with the men folk when they took a break from the happy toils building our bridge. I'd like to post a photo of the 50 or so Mabergese standing on a finished bridge holding glasses of wine toasting a job well done.

Instead it went like this...

Six guys gathered. The same guys who had worked the weekend before. They shoveled sand and made cement. They moved boulders and built a supporting wall.
They discussed the next steps. Then a couple of the neighbors, who do this type of work Monday through Friday as their profession, began to unionize. They made their pitch to one of the other workers who is the president of our neighborhood association that they should get paid for their labors. They're argument was made stronger by the 3 or 4 cars of other neighbors who drove by, not stopping to help nor even stopping to say thank you for the work. In response to the request for money the president said, "no f$%$in' way, the association has no money even if we wanted to pay for the work." (I'm paraphrasing there) So, by lunch break, two of the 6 neighbors went on strike saying "no money no work", one of the others said, "if they're not coming neither am I" leaving the already skeletal crew cut in half. They were joined in the afternoon by one new recruit, and labored for the rest of the afternoon.

End of the story? There is a functioning but incomplete bridge, which will probably remain so for an indefinite amount of time given the hard feelings all around.

Reality. Sometimes it's a pisser.


  1. and the drama continues. Hope the road/bridge holds togeter. - Earle

  2. Paul George9:02 PM

    Getting 'volunteers' is an art form, and nobody does it better than Catholic schools. One trick they use is to give a credit towards tuition (association dues?) for every hour you work. In St. Frances Cabrini's case it's $25/hr with a $250 max. off your tuition. They never have a shortage of 'volunteers'. Of course, you need to keep accurate contemporary records to keep the volunteers honest and the non-volunteers from claiming fraud! Either that or some benefactor needs to take everyone out to a great restaurant with an open bar! The second way was the preferred method of my local firefighters union.

  3. Well, you can say you have NEIGHBOURS, that help out when they are needed... most places, you don't know their names, or say hello when you pass them by on the staircase!