Thursday, August 31, 2017


Everybody's Somebody in Someone Else's Story

By Donovan Baldwin

In 1963, a metal safety helmet saved my life.

I was 18, and I was spending the Summer working on a construction crew for Soule Construction Company in Pensacola, Florida, as an apprentice carpenter.

One job was widening a bridge over the Escambia River, near Century, Florida.

Talk about getting old.

That bridge, and several other things I helped build, overpasses on Interstate I-110, going into downtown Pensacola, for example, have since been torn down and replaced.

Anyway, they insisted I wear this ugly metal helmet, and, as a rebellious teenager, I took it off at every opportunity.

On this particular day, my job as apprentice was to crawl up under the bridge, and, lying on a beam about 30 feet above the river, set some framing in place so that concrete could be poured later to cap a pier.

As I was under the roadbed of the bridge, there was a huge "pavement breaker" tearing up the concrete above me.

Suddenly, a huge chunk of concrete, about the size of a soccer ball, broke loose and hit me in the head.

Actually, it hit my helmet and left a pretty big dent in it, but, I was okay.

I kept that helmet for nearly 50 years after that.

So many times, so many ways, my story, could have ended. So many stories have ended before they should have.

Sometimes even doing everything right doesn't save the hero.

Everybody around you is the hero of somebody's story, even if it's just their own.

Enjoy them, their story, and their place in YOUR story.

They might not be here tomorrow.

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