STORIES FROM THE FIELD
A hard day’s work, a good day’s work, makes me feel good. Then I go home and I sleep pretty well.
I had it a little tough working with my dad. He was pretty fussy. So I worked at another farm. And here I am, at probably 8 or 9 years old, driving a tractor for a neighbor for 35 cents an hour. But he trusted me with the tractor and my dad didn’t. I guess it was as simple as that. He had faith in me. I like people to depend on me and trust me to do a good job.
When I was younger I was a people pleaser — mowing lawns, whatever I could do. The harder I worked, the more money people would give me, and the happier people would be. I’m pleasing myself, not just the company I’m working for or contracting to. People have always been pleased with my work and I like that. I like being wanted, in demand, for my talents and my skills.
When I was still on the farm, I got into climbing. A friend of mine came over, and he was going to line school. So I put on the hooks and I climbed a pole in the back yard, and I liked it right away.
I like heights. I like flying. It’s a natural high. I liked being in the air and the danger of it, and the use of common sense. I’m still in command, even though there’s a general foreman and a superintendent down below me. If you don’t drink or use drugs or anything, you look for some other ways to get high.
I wouldn’t make a very good bum I don’t think. Back on the farm you didn’t get away with too much. You did your share. Worked hard. Oh, yeah, I’m a better person for working. I try to be honest to myself, and, of course, if you’re honest to yourself, you’re pretty much honest with the people around you. I learned that if you work hard, you usually get rewards. A hard day’s work, a good day’s work, makes me feel good. Then I go home and I sleep pretty well.