Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Every foot taken by hand.

John Henry replaced the long wooden fence he had taken down on the neighbour's side with a long dry stone wall. He started the great Rappahannock wall as he calls it early in 2007 and called me in to help him get him 'over the hill' early in October of that same year.

It was like military assignment. He told me he needed reinforcements because the task was starting to look so daunting and he couldn't see how he was going to get it done without help. I told him it might have been a little less of a Marathon if he hadn't designed it to be so freakishly wide. He replied that he liked the proportions and wanted the wall to be different from any others in the area. We worked for seven days side by side on it together.

He recounted later that having us come and help him to give him a hand 'over the hump' turned out to be a clever strategic move, as John by then had acquired the momentum as well as the skill he needed to go on and finish the rest of the wall the next year. I forget how many feet the wall actually is in total, but you get some sense of the scale of it from the photo.