Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The loudest place in the world...
Was the burned out trailer I lived in out in the middle of nowhere. You might think that out in the middle of nowhere would have been peaceful and quiet, but you might be wrong.
The one neighbor had three German Shepherds and a Chow, and all it took was a cat crossing the road 100 yards down the way to set them to barkin' and howlin' like it was the End of the World.
Then, right across the Railroad tracks there was a concrete plant. In the morning trucks would line up to get their fill and between the low rumble of the motors, you could hear the sledging slurping sound of concrete spilling down from a hopper and into the spinning back of the truck. Later that day the plant would go into production, and gravel would be crushed in some giant machine. It was like the sound of marbles being dropped on a tin roof and amplified enough to make you ears bleed.
So when the dogs got to barking, and the gravel got to crushing, you really couldn't quite hear the train that was coming down the tracks till it was almost on you. But as the burned out trailer began to shake from the vibration of 100 cars filled with coal gliding down the Double-E of the tracks, if I timed it just right I could holler out "There goes that son-of-a-Bitch" at the top of my lungs, only you wouldn't be able to hear the word "Bitch" because the engineer had commenced to blowing his whistle.
It was loud, but when timed right, it was beautiful!
But that's not all.
Since this place was "out in the middle of nowhere" it made it the perfect place for someone to put up a Dynamite plant a half mile away. And at various times of the day, starting at 6:00 in the morning, they would test the dynamite and there would be a big boom go off and the shock wave (which could snuff out a candle) would rattle your windows and of course, set three German Shepherds and a Chow to barking their fool heads off. A friend of mine, Demetrious, the only black person of Greek descent I have ever known, came to see me one day. We were standing by his car when someone torched off a stick off Dynamite. You could hear and even feel the shock wave, and poor Demetrious hit the dirt, just as he was trained to do 40 years ago in the 'Nam.
He never came back to see me.
But that's not all.
There was one thing that could drown out the dogs, the concrete, the train and the dynamite. On Friday and Saturday nights, one, or all three racetracks in Kennedale would start their engines. I was stuck right between all three and you couldn't hear a thing.
When those racetracks started up, I might have missed Gabriel blow the Lords Trump.

I almost forgot...

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