Tales from the Cabin
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The Crane Guy

“What do you do?”

By Kristi Portugue
Published: December 1, 2006
Photo by Kristi Portugue
You’ve probably been asked that countless times when meeting someone new. It’s a fact of life that people are often identified by their profession.
My husband and I experienced a humorous version of this phenomenon while building a log cabin on our lake property. We hired a general contractor and a log builder, and they hired a variety of specialized subcontractors. We’ve noticed that each subcontractor is generally referred to by his or her area of specialty. For example, there’s The Log Peeler, The Semi-Trailer Guy, The Electrician, The Plumber, The Window Guy (at the lumber yard) and The Excavator.
Then there’s The Crane Guy.
Construction of our log cabin required the use of a crane to lift the logs from the semi-trailer, dangle them in mid-air and carefully put them in place. Over the course of our project many references were made to The Crane Guy, such as: “We’re going to need to hire The Crane Guy because the logs are long;” “The Crane Guy’s truck is in for repairs and we can’t start construction without him;” “The Crane Guy will get his truck fixed by Tuesday, so we should have walls up before the weekend.” We heard so many references to The Crane Guy that we didn’t even think about him having a name.
One day – it was actually the Saturday before The Crane Guy’s truck was to be fixed – a tall, sturdy, mustached man riding a fourwheeler pulled up to our property, jumped off and came over to talk to us. He introduced himself by saying “Hi, I’m The Crane Guy.”
Then he added, “My name is Sam.” It was funny that even he called himself The Crane Guy. We still call him that.

These days, the author and her husband – who share their cabin with their two Portuguese water dogs – are searching for a good Dock Guy so they can add a dock and boat lift on their lakeshore.

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