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Jubal Prevatte
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Progress shots of a current project. Steel frame for the kitchen island and steel pantry doors (waiting on the Reese's glass)
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1/28/17
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Latest prototype from my shop. 
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Now you have to have a little background before I even begin this particular story.

First of all, we lived out in the sticks and our water came from a hand dug well about 4, maybe 5, feet in diameter and 35 feet deep with the last casing they used to line it standing about 24" above ground with a concrete cap on top. Next to it was the tank and pump pit, again, about 5 feet across and this time only 6 feet deep.

The guys who dug the well dropped some trees and fashioned large horse type structure with a log across the top, a large crank handle attached and a rope wound around they used to lift the 50 gallon drums of dirt as the hole got deep (they'd let us ride down it a few times as they dug). That's also how they got in an out, one man, maybe two, down the hole digging and two up top to crank. Between the well and the house was the large pile of dirt they took out of the well, but I'll tell you things about that another day.

They left the crank apparatus when they finished in case we ever needed to get back down into the well, and that's right where this story is going. You see, sometimes the water pumping into our house would get a bit rank and nasty so we'd use the crank to lift the cap and pour a gallon of bleach in to kill whatever was in the water. After a few days of getting our water jugs filled from the artesian well down by the bowling alley (it was just there if you wanted to pull up and fill up) the bleach smell and taste would fade and we'd be back to normal.

The time in question, the nasty smell just came right back so we pried open the lid again and dumped more bleach in. This time dad took a moment to shine a bright light down the well and there was a big dead rat floating in the water. There was no way we could leave it there so he sent me and my sister (we were about 10 and 11 respectively) to drag over the rope we used to lower someone down the well. We called Gary, family friend, handy man, and perpetual burnout, to come by and help mom crank dad in and out of the well. They got him about half way down when he yelled to be pulled back up because the bleach was too strong in the confined space for him to breath. He got to the top, scratched his head for a second and sent us kids to get his scuba gear. I have to back track here and mention he had gotten into scuba diving just before us kids were born and though he rarely went anymore, he kept his tank and gear ready just in case he decided to. He'd take us down to the bay and let us swim around the shallows with it sometimes.

Ok, so there we are, standing at the top of the well as dad strapped on the scuba gear, retied the rope harness around him and climbed over the lip. Mom and Gary lowered him down gently until he was in the water 35 feet below and could scoop the dead rat into a plastic bag. He got it tied all up, and motioned to be cranked out. They only got him about 15 feet up from the bottom when the old rope decided the weight of him and his scuba gear was too much and snapped, dropping him back that 15 feet to the bottom.

My mom screamed and we couldn't hear my dad answer, but then he waved up at us and pointed to his scuba mask, he couldn't take it off to talk to us because the chlorine would likely knock him out. We all stood shocked for a moment, not sure what to do, the remaining rope wouldn't be long enough, and we weren't sure we could trust it if it were. Gary remembered the cables we used to haul dropped trees up the hill to chop and split (and later use for the fabled zip lines...). With the cables we could get him out. It was only then a matter of about 20 minutes to get the cable, attach it to the log, drop it to my dad, and get him out. We all whooped it up when he climbed back over the lip and tossed the bag and rat down the hill into the woods.

We thought that was it, that the excitement for the day was done, but that just isn't the way things worked. See, dad had spied the hole the rat had dug to get into the well. It had gotten in right next to pipe that ran up the inside of the well and then underground to the tank/pump pit I mentioned earlier. Now I forgot one important bit of information here. The pit was nicely chilled being down 6 feet and having a 100 gallon tank of fresh well water sitting in it. A perfect place to have a root cellar. We stored our potatoes and onions in there to keep them fresh during the hot summer months. My dad decided to check and sure enough, there was a family of rats living among our stored veggies. They had dug a tunnel next to the pump line to get to the water and one must have fallen in.

Here is where the story takes a turn. Dad, soaked and chilled from the drop in the well (he had a few scrapes and bruises, but aside from his ego, no real injury) stripped off his wet jeans and shirt, pulled on his coveralls, and decided he was going to show those rats. He yanked away the cover from the pump pit, and sent me to grab one of our cats. I handed him the cat, and he strode over to the 6 foot deep hole, took that long step across to straddle the hole, and dropped the cat in to catch the rats. Brilliant idea he thought, not so much thought the cat. As it dropped past his leg, it grabbed the cuff of his overalls and scratching and clawing its way up, climbed up his leg INSIDE THE COVERALLS!!

To this day, I've never forgotten the image of my dad, hopping around, yelping and trying to get out of those coveralls as the cat did everything it could to climb up him and out of his collar. I'm not sure how most men would handle such an ending to a not so illustrious afternoon, but I do know my measure of what a man is can be directly tied to my dad taking it all in stride, and laughing at his own situation.

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Two of my kids (Joey and Seth) at the high school spring concert. #postalservice #thedistrictsleepsalonetonight

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Custom steel and fir shelving unit with leather firewood sling installed yesterday. My partner Buck tests the sling. 
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5/21/16
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A few shots of my latest work. James Beard award nominees Chefs Greg and Gabi Denton open a follow up to their brilliant Portland hit Ox. #superbitepdx 
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4/24/16
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Enjoy 

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What I've been up to the last 2 days. Reclaimed Doug Fir dining table. A few more runbdowns with tung oil and it'll be ready for thanksgiving.
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11/20/15
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Table leg and skirt layout. 
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