Today, or rather yesterday, was the last day for one of my co-workers. No, his name is not John. We have worked together on the same paint crew for the past three summers and often during the school year as well. This co-worker recently graduated and accepted an engineering job in the Kansas City area. He drives down to Overland Park today. As I think through all the work we did together, I am reminded of the day two summers ago when we were touching up Burr East, just the two of us. That day, we talked about Southpark and The Office, cults and religion, and the weird sock we found in one of the rooms. Or the hundreds of lunch conversations about our co-workers and the lastest rat race that is life at BFL. Or most recently, the time I caught him sleeping just after second break and Gerry and I woke him up with a funny video that another co-worker had sent us. But mostly, I remember how much I looked up to him, both figuratively and physically. He stands 6’9″ tall on a short day and when he had to take a physical this summer, the nurse couldn’t read the measure stick. It reminded me of the “too-tall Jones” Geico commercial. I looked up to him because he was so good at what we did day in and day out. I always tried to out-work him in both quantity and quality, but failed on both counts. Now, for the last few months of 2010, I am the top dog, actually the only student painter still employed at BFL. Today an era ended and next summer, a new era for BFL paint crew begins. An era after Ben Nelson. Good-bye and Good luck Ben!! I will miss you.
JA Menter 3