it was my fist day at work with a concrete… (on my mind)
it was my fist day at work with a concrete wall contractor in Colorado Springs. I was 21 and living with my brother and his family on Prospect Lake at the time and experiencing a very fun season in life. We were located right next to the Olympic Training Center. The very same place and time that the Nancy Kerrigan/Tony Harding drama unfolded, another story for another time. I was already on edge about going to work, knowing the company was owned by a retired Hell’s Angel. I did not know what to anticipate and, to be honest, was terrified. Within the first hour I quickly grasped that they were only picking on the guys that were not working hard. Something forced me to quickly apply this to the work ethic I needed to maintain immediately. For some reason I understood that if I wanted to be respected I would need to work twice as hard as the hardest working person there. I spent the next three months coming home from work and passing out from exhaustion. Eventually though, over this time I also became affectionately knows as Punk and had been invited to hang with these retired Hells Angles who ultimately did in fact end up being Angles. Over the next few months I had opportunities that I still am deeply touched by and that have impacted me even today.
One time we drove to somewhere along the Mexican border outside of Watalupez and camped out to witness a mass border crossing supposedly happening the following day. Sure enough, as the sun rose over my left shoulder you could begin to see groups of people dodging Border Patrol. There even men strategically helping pregnant women in efforts to get them over. It was as if I stepped in to a Territino movie and to this day I wonder if such events are still taking place. So sad. My heart began to swell with sadness as I thought about what and why these people were taking such risks to get into this country. I later learned that if they got the pre ate women on to US soils before apprehended that the baby would most likely be born here and declared a US citizen. Think that through for a few minutes. Once I turned my attention back to those surrounding me I quickly realized they were all entertained by this’s do became very uncomfortable. Funny enough there happen to be this hairy, tattooed, leather wearing giant, that approached me only to validate that what I was feeling was right. Later that weekend I learned how to ride on the way back home because they made me drive a 78 Hardtail home from the bottom of New Mexico. I was good by the time we hit Colorado, lol. For an entire summer I found myself riding through the Rockies on my way to a blues festival somewhere out there in the sea of mountains. What else was funny is how there were times they would now allow me to go with. They would just say “where we are headed to do what we will do is not right for your soul Punk! We love ya though…”.
I firmly believe that they are single handedly responsible for my love of academics. One day at lunch Vern asked me to roll with him, nothing out of the ordinary. He mentioned that he needed to stop by Pikes Peek Community College to make a payment for his daughter. When we got there he said I should go in with and check out some college girls. My door was open before he finished. I was 21 and dumb. Of course I would go in! As we approached the front desk the lady asked how she could help us. Vern replied with “Brian Savage is here for his entrance exam.” I was very confused. Vern then turned to me and leveled his eyes with mine. He said “You are here to start college and need to take this test. You now have two choices. Take the test and register for classes. Or go out in the parking lot, where all the guys are sitting, and take the test with a bloody face. What’s it going to be?” Then he smiled and hugged me saying “…you are so much better than us Brian. Do something with your life.” When I was finished the test and returned to the parking lot we proceed to tailgate for the next few hours. My first class was PSY 101 in which I came to understand that I had better start working on a few things. It is when I adopted the understanding that it is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting. Something I still maintain today.
They would still occasionally visit me after I moved to Denver, Boulder, and Ward.