I worked the last three weeks helping with an Iron Pour at The Colorado Springs School. The Art Department has built the small cupola (furnace) with which they melt about 1500 pounds of iron in a night, pouring into student molds. Below is a tap, a pour into ceramic molds and a pour into open bonded sand molds. What fun! And all by 15- and 16-year-olds! This is the seventh Iron Pour at CSS in twenty-four years.Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 8.39.22 AM

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Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 8.35.45 AMWe achieve almost a hundred percent success with this exercise.

Hurricane Harvey, Rockport, TX, Bullseye

A surprising amount of debris is still piled along the highway for a thousand yards awaiting cleanup. The average street is lined with junk.

This is the site of our favorite antiques store: completely gone to the last detail.DSC04706.jpg

And the bookstore down the block…DSC04707.jpg

A boat storage facility destroyed along with the boats.DSC04725.jpg

And a shrine to the Virgin Mary.DSC04709.jpg

It’s hard to imagine this many people having to rebuild from scratch. And this is only one small bit of the string of tragedies this fall.

Trail Building: My Forté

People don’t usually appreciate how hard it is to build a good trail. Often, the process begins by removing fallen trees. This is particularly taxing if they weigh over ten tons, which many of them do. I strained my knee on this one.PICT0007.JPG

But I was able to stand this one back up, luckily.holding up tree.jpeg

And I was able to push these apart so they wouldn’t fall. This is the best strategy, but you might have to hold them for a few years while they adjust.PICT0086.jpg

Sometimes you can just bend them down and out of the way.PICT0270.JPG

Some people cut them and push the halves to either side of the trail, like I’m doing here.PICT0016.JPG

Other times, a flying kick move is necessary to make the logs move.PICT0017.JPG

And this is to say nothing of the rocks. OMG, some of them require enormous strength to move off the trail. Luckily, I’m up to it, although I shook the ground with this one, which blurred the photograph slightly. Sorry.PICT0123.jpg

I had to pull and slide this one across another rock. Very hard. Tremendously hard.PICT0015.JPG

And on rare occasions, you have to use a karate chop. Can you see my black belt?DSC02194.jpg

I once gave this lecture at the high school where I taught for many years, during Morning Meeting on Monday. I ran the projector from the back of the auditorium, speaking into a mike, and I could hear the freshmen saying, “Oh, give me a break. Who is he kidding? He couldn’t move those things!” So I added to my monologue. “Some people doubt my ability to do these amazing things, but here it is, before your very eyes.” Thanks to Katie for taking these photos while offering encouragement while I worked.