Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church
April 3, 2009
It’s a Glamour Profession; The Dublin Concession
I would drive Burr’s 1964 Chevy Impala around town delivering blueprints.
That was a pretty good job, which I had when I was in High School. Burr was an old buddy of my father and grandfather. He ran a blueprinting shop. The architects would make their drawings of houses and buildings and Burr would make blueprints for all of the contractors.
It was not a glamorous job but it paid well…$2/hr in 1967. I worked out of his basement most of the time, trimming blueprints and bluelines. What I am about to explain is something pretty technical, so you may want to just skip down to the next paragraph: The difference between blueprints and bluelines is that blueprints had blue paper and white lines and bluelines had white paper and blue lines.
I got paid $2 an hour to know the difference. I would spend hours in Burr’s basement over long tables with long shears (think: Edward Scissorhands) unrolling these big rolls of paper and cutting them into sheets of about 2x3 feet and putting them into sets. Once that was done, I would get the keys to his Chevy, put on my shades, turn on the radio and drive around town delivering the sets to various architects. I could not believe that I got paid to drive a car and look cool.
I got to know all the receptionists all over town. I met many of the architects and draftsmen too. The local hospital was remodeling and it was a major project. A full set of drawings was, I suppose, 150 pages. It was a big deal. We got the contract to do that job and after several weeks of getting a portion of the drawings each day, we finally assembled a full-complete set of blueprints. I drove it over to the architectural firm and you would have thought that I was delivering the keys to Fort Knox. I thought the architects* were going to kiss me (I would have preferred a kiss from the receptionists, but this world of blueprints and architectural drawings is a pretty staid one and it doesn’t take much to get them pumped.)
It wasn’t all big business. I went to Kentucky Fried Chicken a lot for Burr. He was a bachelor and didn’t have time nor the inclination to cook. But he was a good, honest businessman and employer and I am grateful for a flextime high school job. Yet it’s hard to explain completely what I did all those hours of trimming blueprints and driving the Chevy around town.
Fast forward to today. Just what is it that I do?
This past week has been a microcosm of all that I trained for and for which I could not have possibly trained. Last week in this space I spoke about my daughter’s wedding. Indeed, it went well but it was an interesting situation to be in: father of the bride and presiding minister.
The following morning was the usual Sunday morning worship followed by a baptism of a little girl in the Gladden Chapel. I received a phone call earlier that morning concerning the tragic death of a local man. Dublin Community Church became the site of the memorial service later in the week.
So what is it that you do? The question is asked of everyone.
How does a stay at home Mom ever fully explain to a commuter, the amount of work that is to be done for 2 little kids? (Don’t you just watch Oprah all day?) How does a bank president ever explain the complexities of her job? (Don’t you just sit behind a desk and make loans to businesses, and go to Kiwanis?) How does a teacher* ever detail his daily grind? (Don’t you work just 6 hours a day and then only for nine months?) How does a minister explain her week? (Don’t you just visit sick people?)
One time I was sitting at my desk, studying the Bible and a parishioner came to the door. She peeked in and said, “Oh, I’m glad you aren’t busy.”
How does one ever explain what it is like to see a daughter married and then within a few hours hold a tiny baby and give her the blessings of a baptism and then shortly thereafter visit a home where a husband/son/father has just been lost in a tragic accident?
No one really knows what another is doing in his/her work; about all we can surmise is that they are spending 8 or 10 or 12 hours a day in their work. Every time I catch a glimpse of the daily life of a cook, or mechanic, or office worker or doctor…I am amazed at all there is to be done.
I no longer wonder just what it is that a minister does, though it changes from week to week and day to day. I am always eager to see what the day brings and still am amazed at what I might find myself in the midst of. And I do know that when I get in my car and put on my shades, I am, in my own mind, still cool.
Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing
*A note here to all you architects and teachers…I know your world rocks; allow me some latitude with my writings.