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2007/02/28

Did I Already Say it is Windy Here?



Just before I was scheduled to drive out to Grants, NM for a news assignment the publisher came to my desk and told me there was some sort of problem with the roof at the new Aquatic Center. So I figured 'how bad cab it be?' and headed over there on my way out of town. It was bad. The wind had peeled the one corner of the roof up and folded it back. The rest of the one side of the building was rattling and shaking. City employees were on the ground loading sandbags onto a large forklift and contractors were piling the heavy bags all along the one edge.



I tried to convince the forklift guy to let me ride up with the sandbags on the lift - get some shots as the guys were unloading the lift and placing the bags. Nope. He did tell me that there was a ladder onto the roof 'somewhere.' I looked around, he looked at one of the guys on the roof, pointed at me and made a motion like he was climbing a ladder. The guy o the roof nodded. I took that to mean it was all set for me to head up.


I didn't have to do too much detective work to find the stairway and then the ladder up to the top. As I stepped onto the roof the contractor (I think it was Rick Murphy, who was in charge ofbuilding the complex to begin with) was less than thrilled to see me. Said I couldn't be up there because I didn't have a hard hat. Now that was odd, because I had several images from the ground of the guys on the roof without hats, and even as I was standing there I spotted two guys without the hats. I finished climbing through the port in the roof and walked right past him to see the damage.

"You don't listen too good, do you?!?" he hollered. "Nope, I don't" was my reply. I am tired of always having people dictate what can and cannot be covered. Tired of the censorship. I was not out to make anybody look bad. I had nothing against the contractor and was not out to imply that there was shoddy workmanship. All I wanted was an imaghe to say 'Hey , look at what the wind did today!'

I only fired off a few frames and got down. Back on the ground one of the city guys asked me how it looked up there. The city people had not been able to get on top of their own building to see how bad it was...
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