Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Peruvian Polack Porter

PolackPappy showed up a couple Sundays back with this bookcase strapped to the back of his dress Volvo. We stood it up in the driveway and while I was contemplating the bookcase, Pp was looping some 300-pound tuna fishing line saved from Ed King's boat, Ed King being a classic salty sea dog and owner of the Stranger, a 60-foot sailboat docked at the Portsmouth yacht club.

Now on writing this I realize it seems a bit odd to fish for tuna off a sailboat. Hmm.

But back to the story! As you can see in the photo above, the bookcase has doors. Naturally I thought Pp was tying the doors shut. But after tying the final knot he stooped down, slipped his arms through the rope, and hoisted the ginormous book case on his back.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I yelled. This was ignored. Oh, Dad, you are SUCH a weirdo, I said. Also ignored. Actually, he looked quite pleased with himself. Then he asked if his hauling method looked familiar and what I thought was I bet that's what they did back in the day (that day being the early '60's, when PP was in the Peace Corps) in Peru. But I said I didn't know.

It's Peruvian! he said. He went on to explain that of course the Peruvians were much, much smaller than he and their loads much, much bigger. Like 150 pounds. Carried up 20,000 feet. Then they'd turn around, walk down, strap on another 150 pounds and walk back up again. All day. Until age 40, by which point most of them were dead.

Thankfully Pp did not expire; he made it up the fire escape with me helping balance the load from behind, and with me feeling slightly embarrassed that someone would see me making my poor sixtysomething father do backbreaking labor. But when I posted about it on FB the response was more along the lines of "Rock on, Pp!"


Blogger Overmatter said...

"Until age 40, by which point most of them were dead."

You kill me.

3:51 PM, March 20, 2010

Blogger xianfern said...

I LOVE that bookcase! I want it! ;)

2:41 PM, March 24, 2010

Blogger McPolack said...

It was the Babcia's; it's from the 1930s. Not for sale buuuuuuuuuut I bet there are more of them out there. The glass is all one pane with wood laid on top and the doors lock.I think the wood is oak.

Overmatter, carrying stuff is hard! : )

6:18 PM, March 29, 2010


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