Monday, April 12, 2010

More Cabin Tales

We had contracted to build a Uyak bay on the west side of Kodiak Island. A landing craft had been hired to haul the material which amounted to almost 50,000 pounds. My crew was on board and the boat was on the water for eight or nine hours when I got a phone call from Kenai Supply in Homer.
Kenai Supply was our supplier at the time in the mid nineties and we had always experienced excellent service from them. "Jay, I hate to tell you this, but we forgot the glu-lams on the Kodiak order." My heart quickened as I immediatly got on the phone to a friend in Kodiak to see if he knew anyone who could take the glu lams from Kodiak city. He didn't. I then called around to see if I could find anyone to take the beams. I finally settled on All West Freight in Sterling. 'Wild Bill' owned the company and he came by his name honestly. Bill agreed to take the beams in his Sky Van but since they were 20' long he wouldn't be able to close the back door.
I took the beams from Palmer to Sterling and loaded them on Bill's plane and we headed for Larsen Bay. When we got there I had to hire a truck to take the beams down to the bay, hire a boat to haul the beams across the bay, and pay the crew to haul them up to the building site. By the time we got the beams delivered they cost
2000.00 each compared to 300.00 at the lumber yard.
I guess it is true that you learn more from your losses than your wins. You would think that after a few projects like this I would want to give up. Well I thought about it a few times but couldn't bring myself to give up the exitement. Or, more likely, I don't know how to do anything else. In any event, we've learned a few things about building cabins over the years but we still get a surprise once and a while and that keeps it exiting.

No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.
- Aesop, Greek fabulist

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