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Patrick Anthony Pontillo
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Time for Another Renaissance
Time for Another Renaissance

503 followers
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Patrick Anthony's posts

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Matchsticks
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Thin Dark Crimson over Deep Blue 
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Geodesic Chicago
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Cloud Waves
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Follow the Lines
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Forest Gown
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The Sea Gull Mingle
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A Belated Note of Attribution: The heavy equipment operator who saved my life.

The excavator shown here was used to save my life during an Army Corps of Engineers' project on a January day, in the Snowbelt of Pennsylvania.  That was when the days would start in the -30 degree wind chill range.  His name was Tony Nardi, and he was a elder heavy equipment operator.  

I was caught in a trench wall collapse, while preparing to install more pipe, at the Colonel Crawford State Park, near Meadeville.  During that project I would operate heavy equipment and also go into the trenches to install the pipe we were laying. Believe it or not, we used lazer technology to install the pipe, and this meant that I spent my trench time looking downward and hardly ever looking upward.

Well, while preparing another stretch of trench, I suddenly heard people at the edge of the trench calling out to me, saying that the wall was falling.  When I looked up, it looked like a big Pacific Ocean wave coming down on me.  So, I ran as fast as I could to the exit point.  And yes, I was working without the required shoring at the time. For whatever reason, the shoring didn't arrive.  So, I was a sitting duck for the day.

Anyway, I ran away from Ground Zero fast enough to only get caught up to my hips.  If the earth climbed any higher, the tons of dirt would have been so tight around my chest that I would have suffocated.  I wouldn't have been able to have expanded my chest. 

Tony prevented the rest of the trench wall from collapsing on me, while I was being dug out.  I was doing some of the digging, in the attempt to speed things-up.  All in all, if it weren't for Tony Nardi, I wouldn't be here right now.  

Incidentally, when you are caught in a trench-wall collapse comprising tons of earth, the sensation that you vividly feel is Circulation Cut-off. It felt as if a tourniquet were wrapped around me.

Tony and I operated heavy equipment simultaneously in a couple of government contract jobs.  He was a nice presence to have on a site, to say the least.  

When I was first operating heavy equipment, he would give me safety tips, being that I would hot-dog it and cowboy it up, with my pieces of heavy equipment.  Anyway, Tony needed to be made known for what he did for me on an instant's notice.  It wasn't until recently that I found out that he left us, having done so a few years ago.  Tony left this life having been a literal life-saver.  He needed to be publicly given the credit for it.
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