Friday, June 4, 2010

Past, Paint, Plastic, Preservation, Puppylove

Tuesday, as I was putting a coat of paint on "The Annex", I thought of my past. My last employment was for a company that made custom items from FRP. We call it FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic), yet in Europe, it's called GRE (Glass Reinforced Epoxy).

I recall that the first time I saw a specification for two GRE tanks for shipment to the Middle East, I thought that GRE must be the liquid which would be contained in these tanks!

Whenever you say you have a "fiberglass boat", you're really not being correct. If you've ever seen wet fiberglass insulation, you know that fiberglass would certainly not hold water, and would quickly be destroyed by it. FRP encases the fiberglass in a solid coating of plastic of some form. The form of plastic would vary with the liquid to be contained.

When I built the cover for "The Annex", I used a similar principle to make it watertight. I glued an old bedsheet to the surface of the cover, wet it down well, and allowed it to shrink until it made a tight fit to the plywood surface, then I painted it several coats.

The integrity of "The Annex" depends on renewal of the paint periodically (at least I think it does), and a fresh coat of paint makes it look better.

When I was about eight or nine, an "older guy" came through the neighborhood, painting the gas meters. I suppose this older guy must have been about eighteen or nineteen, but to us "little ones", he was an adult who had no problem talking to us. He told us his name was "Kilroy", so that's what we called him. Asked if he was THE Kilroy, he replied, "of course".

He hung around for quite some time. The aluminum paint that he was putting on the meters dripped all over, and, even to my unsophisticated eye, seemed to be a really sloppy job. I wondered if this was what it was like to have a job with the gas company. Maybe that would be a cool job, being paid for being lazy and sloppy.

When I was sixteen, I was walking around the town square, hoping to find a job. In front of a Variety Store (I sometimes think of the term "Bridey Store", which was my name for them as a five-year-old), I saw a kid I knew, who was going to quit his job, and he thought that if I talked to the store manager, I could get the job. I did, and I did,

I was flabbergasted by the attitude of my family, including Granny, who said, "Billy has a JOB!" Well, I thought I'd been working since I was about eleven, caddying at the local golf course, but apparently no one thought of that as a "real job".

The bookkeeper at the store was a knockout, and a very pleasant person. An older woman, of course, in her early to mid twenties, and she often invaded my teenage dreams. Naturally, to my disappointment, she was a married woman, whose husband was in Korea.

Her husband finally came home from "the war", and I was introduced to him. My lovely Betty Bridges was married to KILROY!!!!


No comments: