THE FOUNDATION CREW began this day anonymously. The hoods of their sweatshirts were pulled tight as protection against the morning chill, covering all but a small oval of face, and that unseen as they bent to the task of setting up for the work day ahead.
They arrived on the job shortly after 7:00 a.m., just in time to meet a convoy of cement trucks. The big, blimp-shaped trucks positioned themselves so that a hydraulically connected, telescoping trough-like chute could carry the wet cement fifteen feet more into the waiting two foot by two foot trenches.
This is Jerry Campbell, owner of the concrete company. His wife is Celeste, our builder’s aide de camp, the one who quietly works behind the scenes to make things happen seamlessly. Jerry’s no slouch, either.
The trenches are two foot by two foot, rebar and concrete-filled. Code requires they be 16 inches, but these are 24. Jerry said that’s the way he built his house, that it’s much more solid that way. We think he and our builder, Ron, collaborated and decided to go the extra mile for us here. It’s a good feeling to see that wide concrete base knowing it’s built to hold heavy I-beam trusses and the weight of a twenty foot high roof.
Few homeowners are lucky enough to see their home built every step of the way. Hardly anyone sees the footings dug and the foundation prepared. I generally think about art in a simplistic way: nature-made or human-made. But in considering art created by humans, my mind goes to galleries, exhibitions and collections, or the art of music or poetry. But you know what? The work done here with mud, cement, rebar and shovels feels to my heart like artistic achievement The fact that it will be covered over soon only means the exhibition was dynamic; one moment in the life of a moving river.
Mike, Eddie, Mario, Leon and Reggie are plein air artists.