Friday, July 10, 2009

Concrete Convoy

Ok, so our house has this very long concrete "driveway" that extends from the street about 100 feet back into our property. Only the first 30 feed of it are wide enough for a car. The rest is just concrete. I believe there used to be a shed on the back portion. We decided that when we got the driveway repaved, we would have the concrete taken out and plant a yard instead, so Baby Love would have more space to run around and, well, because it looks ugly to have mint growing up through crumbling concrete slabs in the back yard.

We hired Bruno to do this work. Bruno is about 99 years old and from the very tip of Italy, where the men are brown and the accents are thick and, evidently, the ear hair is very prevalent. Bruno rolled up at 7:08 this morning with his sons, nephews, and who knows what other folks. By 7:22 when I called my mom, they had already done boat loads of work.

I am so fascinated by this process. I can't even tell how many of them there are, but some have mustaches and some are young, hot dudes in Pitt shirts. Still others are in their 40s, wearing cut-off Guns N Roses t-shirts and tight shorts. Many have Penguins or Steelers tattoos beneath giant maps of Italy on their biceps. They all have muscles and sexy construction worker boots. And they lined up their water coolers on the back porch.

Right now, Bruno is sitting in my garden observing while his boys swing large sledge hammers and break up the concrete. He is like Buddha or the Godfather. Nobody is speaking English. I have never seen such a smooth process. They are simultaneously gingerly avoiding the neighbors' tomato and blackberry plants with their crowbars and hoisting 6-inch slabs of concrete around like they are weightless. All at break-neck speed!

There is definitely something cultural about this Italian family in my yard, something so different from the insulation people. Corey and I got the sense that, when we went out to greet them, we were delaying their labor. Like, "hey man. We aren't here to be friends. You're paying us to WORK." There is an energy, an aura about this crew that makes them extremely likeable, trustworthy, and just demands so much of my respect. These are people who value what their clients think of their work.

Bruno says the whole thing will be done by mid-morning tomorrow. To be honest, it makes me a little sad because I think I could watch them for days.


kk said...

I'll be right over!! Sounds like a good show is going on. Take some pictures:+)

Amy said...

That's all kinds of rock and roll. Perhaps you could write about them?

Katy said...

they move too fast for pictures! you better believe i'm taking good notes for future writings about this day, however. many of them, in the growing humidity and heat, have removed several layers of clothing only to reveal equally confining layers of hair.