Sunday, November 11, 2007

Race Over

The crane wreck was just a minor glitch in the race towards July 1st and the opening of half a dozen casinos. The damage was quickly repaired and we were soon working double shifts every day of the week. When I wasn’t running my own job, I was usually to be found at the Gold Dust casino, working for another Solari foreman.

Finally it was over and the casinos were due to be open at midnight. Well, maybe not completely over. I remember being up on a tall ladder at 11:30 PM, replacing ceiling tile behind a sprinkler fitter, who was taking them out to put in the new heads. Below me, a laborer stood by with a vacuum to clean up the mess I was making. Since the ceiling had already been painted a bright red, my new tiles (white) stood out like beacons. But no one cared, the gamblers, when they arrived at midnight, would be focused on the machines and not the ceiling.

A note about the ceilings; as a drywall carpenter from Los Angeles, I was accustomed to doing the work of my trade and my trade only. Drywall and steel stud framing. In Reno, I was supposed to know something about every trade involved in finishes. So I quickly became a lather and an acoustical ceiling installer. It was simply expected of you and you had to learn on your own.

Luckily for me, the concealed spline ceiling system used on the Money Tree was a brand new one and the ‘real’ acoustical ceiling installers that worked for me had never seen it before, so we were somewhat equal and I could catch up to them in expertise. Pretty soon, I was accepted by the acoustical ceiling crews and we got along fine for the rest of my career in Reno.

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