Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Rolling Stones at the MSG

A month ago, I reported the arrival of the stones for the memorial to John Carroll, who planted the first seeds in our community garden.  The massive granite slabs remained where the forklift had unloaded them, just a few feet from their permanent spaces, because of the lack of appropriate tools and muscle needed for the task.  Until yesterday.  After a group of gardeners finished the work day assignment of loading the last of the garden waste onto a truck to be composted off-site, they directed their mental and physical energies toward finally finishing this installation.

I was not on hand, but with the help of Allan's photos and Stephen's account, I will do my best to enlighten any of you with 1200-pound boulders to move in your future.

Stephen recalls that the team of workers came up with about five different strategies.  All three stones were initially raised using a car jack.  Stephen provided a camera dolly on two pieces of PVC pipe, which was used with sheet metal to roll the first stone into its place.  
To move the second and third stones, the workers channeled the builders of the pyramids of Giza and used materials that Allan had been saving under a tarp all of these years for a day like this. Rails were divised out of two-by-fours, and the stones were winched onto copper pipes and rolled into their spots. A few workers using crowbars helped leverage the stones onto the copper.After about an hour of scheming and sweating, the stones were in their designated locations, and Allan continued to have a justification for keeping all of that stuff in his yard.  And those of us with such a spiritual inclination had reason to believe that John was looking down at this operation with pride, grinning over the collective efforts made by the half-dozen gardeners gathered on this chilly December morning.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Nothing like some simple tools and human ingenuity.