I spent two of the past four weeks engaged in an orgy of destruction. No, not protesting that Black lives matter. The fight I was in regarded the other BLM: Backyard Life Matters.
Because the man we bought this house from is allergic to grass, half of the backyard–the half surrounding the pool–resembled, say, Guadalcanal. The other half contained two ancient structures and a 250 year-old Valley Oak.
That half still contains the oak.
It was those two structures I fought to the death. The first, and easier of the two, was a redwood awning 25 to 30 feet long by about 15 feet wide. This was supported by six thick posts. Simple, right? Six cuts, two ropes, one tug–and the thing knelt down like a tired camel. It was then just a question of disassembly and dumpster filling. Not much fun in the heat but, with caution, easily accomplished. One had to watch out for clutches of twisty, rusted nails bursting out of board ends. Nasty.
My other opponent–another redwood construction–was a hexagonal sitting platform roughly 15 feet tall at its rails and something like eight feet across.
I guess before proceeding further I should explain myself. Both structures, in addition to being incredibly ugly, were rotting. You could not even access the sitting platform, for instance, because its stairs had caved in. Besides–who in their right mind is going to argue against a large space of grass? Except for the previous owner.
I can’t get the image of croquet matches with eventual grandchildren out of my head.
Anyhow, the hexagon was of much stouter construction than was the awning. I thought it would be the same: six cuts, two ropes and a tug. Instead, I wrestled with that monster for the better part of a week. And that was just to haul the platform down. And when that was down, it was still not fully down–only perched precariously on its lower elements.
But the board ends were similarly nasty, and another bin was filled.
Picture the warrior–five feet nine inches tall at full height, before he started shrinking with age, armed with a pruning saw, two ropes, an axe and a hammer. Oh–and gloves, of course. One pair.
I tell you: almost anything can be accomplished with persistence. I wore a hole in that pair of gloves.
My message to protesters, then, does not involve destruction. Or violence. I believe that the Jeep driver in the infamous May 30 incident might have been charged with vehicular assault had water bottles not been hurled or the car half surrounded. But I’ve written about this previously.
My message to protesters? Be persistent.
Oh–and vote in November, of course. By mail, if you must, if schools are still closed, if businesses are yet curtailed and the virus remains rampant. Be persistent.