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Old 08-20-2007, 08:13 PM
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Wow!! I remember reading something about Frank Sheitlin when I was a pup; if I recall, it was that story about his being blind and able to do work like that that drove me to "practice" that myself. I used to put a blindfold on and take my bike apart and put it back together; in later years, I did the same thing with my guns, and other stuff, once in a while. It's not a bad skill to have; I often worked by feel, rather than trying to twist myself up into some spot just so I could see what I was working on. Sometimes, the outcome was not what I wanted, though, and I might eventually end up having to screw myself into a spot, or dismantle something to fix it.

The last line of that writeup struck a chord with me, too; Harper Dry Lake is out in the California desert northwest of Barstow. In 1968/69, I worked in and around Barstow, and spent one of the darkest nights working that I can remember, out on Harper Lake; it was no longer a true dry lake, but had been turned into a rather extensive alfalfa ranching region - must have been several thousand acres of the green stuff growing out there. We were working out there trying to get the power to the wells and ranches back on during an electrical storm, and the electrical disturbance got so intense that it literally killed the batteries and alternators on our trucks, and all of the batteries in our flashlights. We had a couple of linemen up in the air on a boom, and had to rig some friction stopper knots on the handline to get them down - all in dark so deep that you couldn't see your fingers in front of your eyes, except when there was a flash of lightning; talk about feeling blind! We used cigarette lighters for enough light to check our knots, and to give us targets to go for in moving around. After we got everybod back on the ground safely, one of the guys took the lighters, and set off walking (our radios were dead, too) to get help; they finally got back to us after daylight, and then had go back and get a bunch of new batteries and alternators for our trucks.
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