I walk/run marathons for a hobby. many of my training workouts are in the evening. I like the solitude, and cool of the night air. As I approached the Montana State Capital building I remembered the first time I thought of the artistry of a building. At least three generations before me were home builders on my fathers side. Homes and buildings had always been just work accomplished in my eyes.
I dated a woman named Beverly for a short time, not short enough I say. We had gone out a few weeks when I decided I needed control of my life. I told her it was over, been real, thanks, see you later.
It was not that simple. She called my mother and attended church with her the next 2 weeks. My mother was not impressed and made a remark about not wanting to be in the chapel during the lightning strike.
Next Beverly called my friend Carl, cried, begged and started dating him. I had once told her a friend commented to me that she was a woman I should hold onto at all costs. Beverly mistakenly thought Carl had made this comment. Carl is more savvy than I in these things. He grew weary of her company after a few days. He suggested I ask her out to set him free, as she may have mentioned me occasionally, OK constantly, while they were together.
I asked her out the next night. Beverly called Carl to apologize, she wouldn’t be seeing him again. I am certain she believed her plan worked, dating my best friend to make me jealous. She didn’t know I was taking her out to say “No, this is really goodbye, and Carl is dating someone else now too.” You would think after I put the boot to her the first time she would have seen it coming. No, she seemed just as surprised the second time around.
Now to the part about the Capital Building. Beverly was not quite cooked yet. Time to turn up the heat. I lived in Great Falls, she lived in Black Eagle, 89 miles from the capital. She had a house in Helena, but needed some help with repairs. Would I go with her to look it over? Sure, no problem. She picked me up early evening, not the normal time to go estimate remodeling jobs. We got to Helena and visited friends of hers. I never knew what that stop was about.
Then we went to the Capital Building. She remarked how beautiful it was. I did agree, and still marvel at the magnificence of the structure built when stone was still a hand craft. That moment changed the way I viewed the work done by true craftsmen. I had never appreciated the things my dad knew, and did. I never did get on well with him, even after this.
We ventured over to Beverly’s place. I say place because the trailers built in those days were not houses, by any means. She started carrying on about moving there with me. We could live there rent free, get state jobs etc…. I still lived at my parents house, at no cost, had worked construction at age 13, never dreamed of living in a trailer in my worst nightmare. I was away from home, in her car, and stuck that way until she decided different. It was winter in Montana, without heat in the trailer. Thankfully, we only stayed long enough to verify that her ex-husband had left the place intact. On the ride home I came up with a new plan. Enable her to find someone else on her own.
The next morning I called the Air National Guard recruiter, MSG. Tim McCann. Everybody I knew that had a decent steady income worked at the guard. I went up to The Hill and took a test. I have always been good at tests. He handed me a book about four inches thick and said pick any job in there, you qualified. I still had ditching Beverly on my mind. The longer I was at guard school the more likely she would find a new muse. There it was, Electronic Communication Cryptographic Equipment Systems Repairman, 35 weeks. Some people struggle and strain, read books, visit colleges, talk to friends and family before making a career choice. I was going lower on the hierarchy. I just wanted freedom from the lynch mob that was tightening a noose on my neck, Beverly.
As predicted she was long gone by the time I returned from basic training and technical school. By chance, I was successful at communications repair. I have been making a living at it since 1979, including my current pension.