Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Red Bandana Man

I am trying out how to write this without sounding like a stalker. However, since my writing skills aren't that great, I might not be successful. Rest assured, there is no restraining order against me. Yet.
Road construction began on the main road by our house 2 1/2 years ago. What should have taken perhaps a few months or a year has now stretched into this long melodrama of stupid detours and ridiculously slow improvement.
Alaskans know how to build roads. Since construction season is so small--8 weeks or whatever, they can build 500 miles of road in like 12 hours...so this ongoing no-improvement/ improvement plan is draining.
I am so sick of it that I wrote the Capital Improvements Director of the city a couple months ago. I was direct and to the point. It went something like this, "Dear Ralph Davis, I am sick of the road being torn up. What is the hold up? When will it be done? It is really inconvienent for me. Your pal, Val." Ralph wrote back his sincerest apologies, referenced some contractor dispute and gave me the direct cell of his assistant (too afraid to give me his apparently) and told me to call his buddy when I am feeling put out or have concerns. I wonder if the buddy could also give me a ride to the Bed, Bath and Beyond, too? I have a concern about that today. :)
One very fun activity that has come from the "Project That Has No End" is that I have made a friend. We have never spoken, and perhaps he has made friends with everyone who drives that way. Back when I was still driving, there was a flag man who always waved at me and smiled brightly. I always knew it was the same guy because he wears a red bandana under his hard hat everyday.
We have named him "Red Bandana Man." That is because we don't know his real name. I have my guesses though.
Red Bandana Man must have gotten a promotion or raise or something because he hasn't held the sign in over a year. Someone less wavey and smiley does it now. Red Bandana Man is moving junk around. I don't want to say I see him "working" because I wouldn't say that I see him ever doing that.

He is pretty old (at least 57! :) ) with grey goatee. He used to lose weight in the summers and gain it back in the winters, but this summer he didn't lose much (probably because they only worked something like 7 days), so he is at his heaviest I have seen him. He has a new maroon sweatshirt for this winter, and doesn't seem as smiley as he used to be.
I have a curious nature about me. That is why I like genealogy. You can get answers. When the family asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year--it was one thing. You guessed it. I want to know Red Bandana Man's name. His real name.
My greatest fear is that one day they will just plain give up on the ripped up road and I will never know the truth. So if you are wandering by one day, stuck in traffic on North Oak, and see a red banadanad man, will you get his name? My family won't stop the car for me to ask. Go figure! :)