Friday, July 20, 2012

Hodge Hall: Week 10 -- The view from my desk

Workers have started removing windows from the undergrad building.

Buck Reed at the jackhammer controls.
We talk a lot at the Kelley School about the constant machine-gun sound of the jackhammer busting through bedrock on the Hodge Hall construction site, and wondered what it was like to be the guy sitting at the controls of that particularly loud and jarring piece of equipment all day.

Buck Reed admits it makes him a little "tingly."

Reed is one of the sons of Reed & Sons Construction, which won the contract to do the excavation work for the Kelley School's undergraduate building expansion. He and his brother took over the family business from their dad in the 1990s.For weeks during our record-breaking summer temperatures, he's been sitting in his un-air-conditioned cab busting through rock with the constant peck, peck, peck, peck of the jackhammer vibrating through the ground, the machine, and his body.

He wears ear muffs, but after a while, especially when the "feels like" temperature is 115 degrees outside, he has to let his ears get some air. Still, he can't take them off all the way.

"I'll put them on halfway, but you can still hear the noise," Reed said. "It won't be very long before I pull them back down."

He says it's like any other job with some kind of strain -- you get used to it. He can't imagine that sitting at a computer for eight hours every day wouldn't hurt a person's eyes or give them a headache, something he's thankful he doesn't get on the job.

But he says he'll never quite get used to the 100 degree heat. After work, he likes to be inside in the air conditioning, doing nothing. 

On the weekends, you might find Reed on Lake Monroe fishing for bass. He likes the competition of it -- figuring out how to catch them -- but the peacefulness is nice, too.

"There's nothing like first daylight on the water when it's all to yourself. It's calm and relaxing. Eagles fly over your head and you see the wildlife. It's calming."

Thanks for your part in helping build the future of the Kelley School, Buck. Here's to cooler days and quiet fishing trips.

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