October 27, 2008
I knew from the minute I got up in the morning it was going to be a good day. However, I also knew that the first part of the day would drag on forever. It was a slightly overcast day as I sat in my micro-biology class. The time was 3:30 and the last five minutes seePersonal Essay - Ben W.m to take an eternity, just like I thought it would. The final bell rang and I jumped from my desk and had to navigate the crowded hallways of a Friday after school. I raced to the back parking lot where my dad was patiently waiting with his truck and trailer.
This was the day that we were going to purchase our Caterpillar 305CR which is a mini-excavator. This piece of equipment is painted ‘construction’ yellow and is designed for easier movement and is smaller so that it can get into tighter places where bigger equipment can’t go. It has a 12.5’ depth of dig, a 360 degree rotational motion and a Quik-Tach bucket system with a thumb.
After we arrived at the dealership and found our sales representative, I could hardly wait for them to finish the operational instruction. I knew that he was only trying to be informative and helpful but it was hard to concentrate on what he was saying. I felt like I wasn’t paying attention because in my mind I already knew how to operate it.
Finally, we backed up the 305 onto our trailer. My dad drove 65 m.p.h. as a precautionary measure which only heightened my anticipation. By the time we arrived home, I had already formulated a quick plan to remove the chains and off load the excavator. Finally, I was in the operator’s seat and running the controls! The balance of the day turned into night and I was still moving dirt and digging holes.
My dad knew what this meant to me and let me drive it first that day and any time since then. He and I have always shared this connection when it comes to heavy equipment. We can talk about them for hours at a time. It’s a special connection that I’m glad that I have with my dad.

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